OSCE urges Kazakhstan to free arrested jounalist

was arrested last week after his newspaper published leaked internal documents of the Central Asian state's National Security Committee.

OSCE urges Kazakhstan to free arrested jounalist

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe urged Kazakhstan on Wednesday to free journalist Ramazan Yesergepov, arrested on the charge of divulging state secrets.

Yesergepov, editor-in-chief of Alma-Ata Info weekly, was arrested last week after his newspaper published leaked internal documents of the Central Asian state's National Security Committee.

The OSCE representative for the freedom of the media sent a letter to Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin, urging Yesergepov's release, the organisation said in a statement.

"As the most important first step, I ask your authorities to release the journalist," the statement quoted Miklos Haraszti's letter.

"Keeping him under arrest, just as threatening him with imprisonment, would be a violation of the OSCE commitment to facilitate a fearless atmosphere for public-issues journalism."

Kazakhstan will chair the OSCE next year, a decision criticised by some human rights groups. The ex-Soviet republic has never held an election judged free and fair by the OSCE.

Local media often criticise senior officials, but almost never attack President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has run the country since 1989.

Reuters
Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2009, 12:10
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