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Open letter of  the international foundation for protection of freedom of speech "Adil soz" to the Minister of Internal Affaires of the Republic of Kazakhstan

To the Ministry of Internal Affaires of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Suleymenov K.S.

Dear Kairbek Shoshanovich!

International foundation for protection of freedom of speech appeals o you regarding cases of gross hindering of legal professional activity of journalists that took place on April 1-2 near the Embassy of France in Almaty cit.

So, on April 1 near 3 pm two strangers attacked the cameraman of the television company “TAN”, Vadim Malakhov. Attempt to break the camera did not work and the attackers escaped.

On April 2 at 1 pm cameraman of the television channel “TAN”, Ruslan Tairov, was beaten up on the same place. Having found a moment when the journalist moved away from the cameraman, three young sturdily-build men ran up to Tairov, after what one of them pushed the camera, two other hit the cameraman in the jaw and head. The cameraman fell down on asphalt. At 3 pm Ruslan Tairov was delivered for checkup to the neuro-surgical department of the hospital # 7 of Almaty city.

At night from April 1 to April 2 shooting-crew of the television company “Irbis”, which was recording situation of seizure of vehicle of Ms. Zhakiyanova, was forced to stop working on demand of the deputy of the road police of Almaty city colonel Rogachev. However, soon after Mr. Rogachev demanded from the television cameraman, Valery Pavlov, to give him property of he television company - videotape footage. Pavlov did not agree with this. On Rogachev’s order the tape was taken away by force by group of militiamen consisting of 6-7 people, soon another detachment of police arrived, about 30 people, with batons and other ammunition. At the same time, despite the demand of he deputy of Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Z. Batallova to stop violence, both journalists were beaten up and the camera was broken.

The aforementioned journalists suffered during performance of their professional duty, which is the realization of the constitutional right of citizens for receipt and dissemination of information important to the public. Due to this particular reason violent acts performed in respect of them touch upon not only their private rights, but also represent a menace to interests of the society at large.

In this regard we ask you to examine the aforementioned events and bring the guilty in gross hindering of legal professional activity of journalists to proper responsibility. On its part the foundation “Adil soz” is ready to provide assistance in presenting testimonial evidence and video materials on the aforementioned events.

Sincerely,

President of the Foundation for protection of freedom of speech “Adil soz”

T. Kaleyeva

April 2, 2002

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