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Kazakh Opposition, Media Appeal For Editor's Release

Almaty, 25 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A group of Kazakh opposition and media figures today appealed to Russian authorities to release a Kazakh journalist detained in Russia.

Irina Petrusheva, the editor in chief of the opposition weekly newspaper "Respublika," was detained in Russia on 23 April at the request of the Kazakh police.

Kazakh authorities have accused Petrusheva of alleged tax evasion and breaking Kazakh citizenship laws.

Petrusheva has been living in self-imposed exile in Russia since 2002, when threats against her life and her newspaper led her to flee Kazakhstan.

Kazakh opposition and media figures today submitted an appeal for her release to officials at the Russian Embassy in Almaty.

The appeal states that Petrusheva's arrest is politically motivated and that her detention represents a fresh clampdown on freedom of the press in Kazakhstan.

(RFE/RL with additional wire reporting)