Kazakh opoosition journalist beaten up in attack

A Kazakh opposition journalist were beaten in an attack his newspaper linked to his criticism of the government, a press freedom organisation said.

Kazakh opoosition journalist beaten up in attack
Unidentified assailants have beaten up a Kazakh opposition journalist in an attack his newspaper linked to his criticism of the government, a domestic press freedom organisation said on Friday.

Bakhytzhan Nurpeisov, 19, was struck on his head by several men on his way home late on Thursday. The attackers took his camera, tape recorder, notebook and identification documents, the group, Adil Soz, said in a statement.

"They beat him up, aiming mostly for his head," it said.

Adil Soz added that Nurpeisov, a nephew of opposition activist Marzhan Aspandiyarova, suffered concussion and a fractured cheekbone and was taken to hospital.

Nurpeisov works for a small opposition newspaper called Public Position which was launched last year.

"The newspaper editors link the attack on the journalist to his professional activities," Adil Soz said.

A spokesman for the Kazakh Interior Ministry said police were investigating the case. "One should not rush to link everything with politics," said spokesman Bagdat Kojakhmetov.

Last month, another journalist, a website editor for U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was also attacked and beaten up in Almaty. Police have described it as an act of hooliganism.

Media watchdogs have long accused Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, of silencing independent media in a country where mainstream television and newspapers almost never criticise state policies.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2009, 14:16
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