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Kazakhstan: Police Beat Independent Journalist

Almaty, 22 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- An independent television station in Kazakhstan today accused police of beating one of its journalists in connection with his work distributing an underground opposition newspaper. Askar Shomshekov, chief editor at Irbis television station in the city of Pavlodar, said police beat journalist Kanat Tusupbekov at police headquarters on 19 April.

Shomshekov said Tusupbekov was targeted because he distributes "Respublika," a newspaper which reports on government corruption.

Pavlodar police chief Dulat Toigambaev denied the allegations, saying Tusupbekov was not brought to the station that day.

The Kazakh organization Journalists in Trouble said the incident was typical of the treatment of journalists in the country.