Newspaper closed after Putin questioned

Dec. 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM

MOSCOW, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The Chechen government shut down a local newspaper after a reporter asked Russian President Vladimir Putin questions at a news conference, officials said.

The closure came after Belkis Dudayeva, who heads the Put Kadyrova, asked Putin two questions during his more than four-hour press conference in Moscow Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.

Dudayeva asked about the cause of unrest in the North Caucasus, which is plagued by Islamic insurgency, and cuts at the state-owned Kavkaz radio, to which Putin gave unremarkable answers, the report said.

However, Put Kadyrova was shut down within hours of the press conference by Chechen authorities who said the newspaper, which is named after Akhmad Kadyrov, a former Chechen rebel who became the republic's president under Putin, did not have the right to use Kadyrov's name.

Officials at the newspaper confirmed Put Kadyrov was closed because of its name.

"This wasn't censorship. We simply have our own laws and traditions, and we act based on what is sensible," said Alvi Karimov, a spokesman for Kadyrov's son, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Karimov said the paper would like open under a new name.

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