Accessibility links

Kazakh Journalist Taken From Hospital By Armed, Masked Officers

Ramazan Esergepov

Ramazan Esergepov

The wife of an independent Kazakh journalist says her husband was taken away from his hospital room today by a group of state security officers.

Raushan Esergepova told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that her husband, Ramazan Esergepov, editor in chief of the independent Almaty weekly "Alma-Ata Info," was detained by masked officers with machine guns.

Esergepov has been treated for heart problems since early December, after Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) officers tried to force him to go to the southern city of Taraz for questioning regarding a November article concerning corruption allegations that officials say revealed state secrets.

The KNB officially confirmed Esergepov's arrest and said he is now in Taraz, where they say his status in the case has been changed from witness to suspect.

Before his hospitalization, Esergepov had sought asylum at a U.S. Embassy representative office in Almaty. He agreed to leave the U.S. Embassy office after Kazakh authorities assured him and U.S. officials that he would be treated in accordance with Kazakh law.

About This Blog

"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.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More