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Kazakhstan: OSCE Condemns Attack On Journalist

Almaty, 3 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has condemned a violent attack on Kazakh journalist Sergei Duvanov (pictured). Duvanov was severely beaten by three masked assailants near his home last week. He was hospitalized with serious wounds and injuries.

Gerard Stoudmann, the director of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said that the brutal attack suggested "an emerging pattern of harassment of media professionals and human rights defenders in Kazakhstan."

Freimut Duve, the OSCE representative on media freedom, urged the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation of the attack and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.

Duvanov had been investigating corruption in the Kazakh government and the alleged wealth of President Nursultan Nazarbaev and his family. He himself was being investigated for allegedly "insulting the honor and dignity" of Nazarbaev.