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Russia: Newspaper Editor Freed After Detention

Vladivostok, 1 August 2000 (RFE/RL) - A Russian journalist was released from prison today after serving five days for publishing television transcripts linking top officials in Russia's Far East to vote-rigging. Irina Grebneva, editor of "Arseniyevskiye Vesti," said she refused food and drink during her detention to protest what she called an attempt by leaders in Russia's Far East to stifle free speech. Grebneva said her imprisonment will not affect the future activity of her newspaper. "Arseniyevskiye Vesti" published transcripts of phone calls attributed to regional Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko, his first deputy Konstantin Tolstoshein, and Vladivostok Mayor Yuri Kopylov. The calls were allegedly about how to ensure Kopylov's victory in mayoral elections last June.

A Vladivostok court last Thursday convicted Grebneva of petty hooliganism, citing the foul language used by the three men in their phone conversations.