Police search IWPR offices in the North CaucasusPosted Feb 25 2007
Russian police searched and confiscated computers and documents at the Vladikavkaz office of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, the London-based media organization. According to CPJ, two Vladikavkaz police officers searched the IWPR office for about an hour and took two computers that contain reporting resources along with all office documents, in particular “sensitive staff and source-related material and a list of IWPR seminar participants.” Police told Valery Dzutsev, the office's coordinator, that the materials would be returned once they had completed an investigation into the group's alleged tax evasion. A criminal investigation was opened at the end of January against IWPR for alleged tax evasion, though the institute denies the charges. This is the second time the Vladikavkaz office of IWPR has been under investigation. Last November Dzutsev was investigated for illegal business activities, but charges were dropped after police failed to prove any unlawful activity.
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