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Detained Kazakh Journalist Begins Hunger Strike

ALMATY -- An independent Kazakh journalist has begun a hunger strike while in solitary confinement in the southern city of Taraz.

Ramazan Esergepov, editor in chief of the weekly "Alma-Ata Info," was detained on January 6 in Almaty.

A group of masked officers from the Kazakh National Security Committee entered his hospital room, where he was being treated for heart problems, and took him to Taraz.

Esergepov's lawyer, Anna Pakhota, told RFE/RL's Kazakh Service that her client began the hunger strike in a detention center in Taraz on January 7.

Kazakh authorities accuse Esergepov of revealing state secrets in an article printed in his weekly in November. The article alleged corruption among authorities in Taraz.