Kazakh radio editor arrested for extortion, says government suppressing free speech

Tuesday 29 November, 2016

The chief editor of the Central Asia Monitor and Radiotochka.kz, Bigeldy Gabdulina, recently spoke about being arrested, after being accused of criticism for the purpose of extortion.

Gabdulina was arrested on November 16 by Kazakhstan’s anti-corrpution department on charges of extortion of officials in the Zhambyl region by using the information in his control.

His lawyer said that the search in their offices was conducted by investigators without authority and without documents certifying their right to investigate.

The investigators took away all documentation including financial statements for the last quarter, making it impossible for the publishing company to report to the tax authorities.

According to President of the International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech Adil Soz, the arrest of Gabdullina also showed the legal illiteracy of the prosecution.

Since Gabdullin is accused of extorting public procurement officials by negative information defaming their business reputation, this raises questions on the basis of the charges.

Following the logic of the prosecutors, any editor who allows a critical publication is indulging in extortion.

The human rights activist stressed that the prosecution had not brought a single fact to prove the guilt of Gabdullina and his publications, according to a report in Centre1.



Country Kazakhstan
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