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Kazakh Authorities Lift Ban On Independent Weekly's Operations


An Almaty court today lifted the ban on the work of the weekly "Alma-Ata Info."

The newspaper had been banned earlier this month after Editor in Chief Ramazan Esergepov was invited to the Kazakh National Security Committee for questioning regarding an article printed in the newspaper in November. Kazakh officials said state secrets were revealed in the article.

Esergepov then spent a night at the American consulate office in Almaty seeking political asylum. He was hospitalized the next day with heart problems.

Journalist Vladimir Voevod of "Alma-Ata Info" told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that all of the computers and other equipment at the newspaper's offices were confiscated by the National Security Committee and that the weekly will only be available online for the time being.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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