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Russia: Babitsky's Wife Accepts Husband's OSCE Award

Prague, 6 July (RFE/RL) -- Lyudmila Babitsky, wife of Russian newsman Andrei Babitsky, has received the OSCE's Year 2000 Journalism and Democracy Award in Bucharest on behalf of her husband because Russian authorities will not let him leave Moscow. The OSCE honored radio journalist Babitsky today for his candid reporting last year on Russia's military campaign in Chechnya. Russian authorities this week charged Babitsky, an RFE/RL correspondent, with carrying false documents and forbade him to leave Moscow. He denies the charge.

Russia also has protested to the OSCE against the award. Russian Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev said the prize resulted from "a predetermined political approach."

A U.S. congressional delegation, RFE/RL President Tom Dine, and OSCE leaders participated in the ceremony. The OSCE presented the award today on the first day of a five-day meeting of the OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly.