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18 Detained as Suspects for Crimes Against Journalists 


The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan reported on February 21st that since September 2022, journalists in Almaty and Astana have faced property damage, arson of automobiles, delivery of various objects, false reports of terror acts at their addresses, and the release of personal information on the internet.

Police reported that 18 suspects have been detained and that all facts have been disclosed.  An interdepartmental operation has been launched to investigate these crimes, which, in accordance with the criminal code, include dissemination of private information, destruction of property, and hooliganism are being investigated. 

On February 22, one day after this statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, journalist Daniyar Moldabekov posted that an unknown person assaulted him at the entrance to his home, hitting him in the face. 

Earlier, on February 20th, journalist Vadim Boreyko reported that two cars belonging to his cameraman had exploded. It’s unclear who is responsible for this.

It was announced on Feburary 28th that one of the detained suspects, O. Tokarev, a foreign citizen and hacker is the coordinator behind these attacks. According to Kazakhstani police, the attacks aimed to imitate persecution of the media to discredit President Tokayev and his democratic reforms. 

After this series of attacks on Kazakhstani journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement saying that Kazakhstani authorities “must thoroughly investigate” the recent wave of attacks on independent journalists, bring all those responsible to justice and ensure the safe operation of the press. Kazakhstan currently ranks 122nd out of 180 on Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index.