Vienna, 13 February 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed condemnation and revolt after learning that independent journalist and open critic of the government Zhanbolat Mamay (Жанболат Мамай) was arrested on 10 February. He should stay according to local sources for two months in jail.
Mamay is the editor of the newspaper Tribuna (Саяси қалам: Трибуна), which is considered to be the last remaining independent media outlet in the country, known for being outspoken about criticizing the ruling establishment. After his arrest, the editor was charged with abusing his position within the daily to allegedly launder money for a business tycoon, who is wanted by Kazakhstan and Russia for embezzlement. Mamay denies the charges.
This is not his first encounter with governmental pressures: in June 2012, Mamay was arrested and detained for almost a month, on charges of allegedly being involved in “instigating social discord”.
“The Kazakh government has been conducting a continuous tirade against independent media outlets for years now. We call on the government to immediately release Zhanbolat Mamay from detention and drop all charges against him.” Oliver Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General said today.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe.