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More than 1,800 Kazakh journalists have signed a petition addressed to Kazakh Culture and Information Minister Mukhtar Kul-Mukhammed urging him to intervene in the case of fired journalist Luqpan Akhmediyarov.

Akhmediyarov was the chief editor at the TDK-42 television channel in the western town of Oral before being fired on January 28, a day after asking the regional governor a question about his family's business connections.

He told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service then that TDK-42 General-Director Serik Mergaliev reprimanded him for asking the question and then fired him.

In their petition, the journalists insist that Akhmediyarov should be rehired since "every journalist expresses the opinions of society and asks questions on the public's behalf."

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