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Forget about freedom of speech in Russia

The BBC reports on a Report by Amnesty International on freedom of speech in Russia - that is, the lack of it:

"Russian freedom of speech is "shrinking alarmingly" under President Vladimir Putin, says Amnesty International.

The murders of outspoken journalists go unsolved, independent media outlets have been shut and police have attacked opposition protesters, said the report.

It also said "arbitrary" laws were curbing the right to express opinion and silencing NGOs deemed to be a threat by the authorities.

The report comes ahead of Russian's presidential elections on 2 March.

The director of Amnesty International UK, Kate Allen, said: "The space for freedom of speech is shrinking alarmingly in Russia and it's now imperative that the Russian authorities reverse this trend."

A related piece on BBC News "KGB old boys tightening grip on Russia" by the BBC's former Moscow correspondent makes for interesting reading. It looks like nothing has changed all that much in Russia.

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