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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Kasparov, Censored

The Moscow Times reports:

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov is accusing his Russian publisher of axing publication of his self-help book because of his outspoken opposition to President Vladimir Putin. The book, called "How Life Imitates Chess," has been published in Britain and elsewhere and was due to come out in Russian this year until the Eksmo publishing house announced it was delaying publication. "It is obvious that someone wants to deny the opposition any channel for communicating with Russian citizens," Kasparov said in a statement. "They have already confiscated the print runs of our newspapers and our leaflets, and now they have gotten to our books as well. I would not be surprised if my book ... is not only not published in Russia but is also declared extremist." Kasparov is a leader of opposition coalition The Other Russia, which accuses Putin of crushing democratic freedoms. Eksmo said publication had been pushed back because Kasparov's contract for the book, signed more than three years ago, had lapsed, and he had failed to sign a new one. "We find it hard to understand why ... a simple technical issue has prompted a desire to find some kind of political subtext," the publisher said in a statement. "We do not want to think that he is simply using this to attract attention" to his political campaign, it said. Putin's opponents have been starved of coverage by some parts of the media, especially the Kremlin-controlled national television stations. But the publishing industry has been largely unaffected. Kasparov's book is aimed at business executives and draws on his experience in the chess world to give advice on how to achieve success in business.

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