Russia forbids reporter leaving


Moscow - Russian war reporter Andrei Babitsky has said the authorities had refused him permission to travel to France to take part in a Council of Europe meeting on alleged human rights abuses in Chechnya. Mr Babitsky, who reported for US-funded Radio Liberty from behind rebel lines in Chechnya, was detained in January by Russian troops and disappeared for three weeks in a mysterious prisoner swap.

Mr Babitsky has alleged that guards at the Chernokozovo detention centre north of Grozny beat him and he heard the screams of people being tortured. He said he had been abducted and detained unlawfully and he held Russia's Interior Ministry responsible.