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Kazakh Authorities Shut Down Opposition Newspaper, Again

Almaty, 5 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh authorities today ordered the closure of a popular opposition newspaper. The Information Ministry gave no reason for ordering the closure of "Respublika" newspaper.

Galina Dyrdina, deputy editor in chief of the newspaper, criticized the government's action.

"We believe that this order, these actions of the Information Ministry are absolutely illegal and we will appeal these actions in court. We will definitely lodge an appeal," Dyrdina said.

It's not the first time "Respublika" has been closed down. Its operations have been shut down and revived under different names several times in the past few years.

"Respublika" has faced numerous lawsuits from government agencies and its offices and reporters have suffered through various attacks.

Last month, "Respublika's" editor in chief, Irina Petrushova, was briefly detained in Russia at the request of Kazakh police for alleged tax evasion and breaking Kazakh citizenship laws.

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

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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