July 28, 2023

28.07.2023 – Kazakh Journalist Released from 20-Day Detention Over Defamation Allegations

Kazakh journalist and editor of Saryagash-Inform newspaper, Amangeldy Batyrbekov (Амангелді Батырбеков) was released from jail on 23 July 2023 after serving a 20-day sentence for allegedly publishing false information about an official. Earlier, the court in Saryaghash in Kazakhstan found him guilty of defamation. Batyrbekov considers the court’s decision illegal.

Batyrbekov had faced several politically motivated libel charges with imprisonment in the past. Last year, Batyrbekov’s son was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt connected to the work of the journalist. According to the evidence of cases by South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) this year there were several serious threats and attacks on journalist and media companies in Kazakhstan.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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