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ALMATY -- Kazakh police briefly detained two Al-Jazeera journalists and confiscated their videotapes, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Simon Ostrovsky told RFE/RL he and his cameraman were interviewing the wives of jailed Uzbek refugees in front of the pretrial detention center in Almaty on February 3 when police forced him, his cameraman, and two Uzbek women into the detention center.

Ostrovsky says he was asked to give a written explanation of his activities in Kazakhstan before he and his cameraman were released. The two Uzbek women were also released.

But the officers refused to return Ostrovsky's tape with footage of the Uzbek women's attempts to pass food and clothes to their jailed husbands.

Ostrovsky, who came to London with his cameraman earlier this week, told RFE/RL he was summoned by police to the pretrial detention center on February 4 for "a conversation."

A detention center officer, who identified himself as senior lieutenant Alikhan Aqqazinov, told RFE/RL he had no time to talk about the incident.

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