Tuesday, July 04, 2006

De Waal Is Refused Visa

British journalist Tom de Waal, whose reporting from Chechnya has done much to inform Western readers of the ongoing conflict there, has been refused a Russian visa, and therefore cannot attend the launch of the Russian translation of his book on another conflict, the one in Nagorno-Karabakh, Reuters and the Moscow Times report. From the MT:
De Waal said he believed he had offended Russian authorities by appearing as an expert witness for the defense at the extradition trial of Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev in London.

"On the other hand, I have been to Russia twice since then, including to the North Caucasus," he added.

The British court in 2003 declined to extradite Zakayev, granting himn political asylum instead. Russian prosecutors are continuing to try ton secure his extradition.

De Waal last visited Russia in January 2005.
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