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    NARVA AUTHORITIES PROHIBIT FESTIVAL OF DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT CHECHNYA

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    TALLINN, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The authorities of Narva (Estonia) are trying to prohibit the Chechnya festival of documentaries.

    The management of the Rugodiv municipal cultural center yielded to urgent solicitations of the Narva City Hall and refused to rent the hall to festival organizers on March 20, the Northern Coast newspaper reported. The Narva authorities decided to prohibit the festival in connection with tense situation in the world and the recent terrorist acts in Madrid, the newspaper said.

    According to Larisa Olenina, the deputy head of the Narva city assembly, the world is often hit by terrorist acts today, so we should not hold the Chechnya festival in Narva.

    The festival is organized by the Estonian War Memorial (Narva) and the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center (Moscow). The festival features five documentaries about the war in Chechnya and investigation of terrorist acts in Moscow, which were already shown in Russia and other countries. The films were produced in France, Poland, Great Britain and Russia.

    A roundtable with Muslims, including Chechens living in Estonia is to be held after the show.

    In spite of the prohibition, the organizers postponed the festival till March 27. The Narva parish of the Alexander Lutheran Church promised to provide a hall.

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