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Kazakh Journalists Covering Sufi Trial Briefly Detained

Detained journalists leave the Almaly district police station.
On August 26, police in Almaty detained a group of journalists and kept them at a police station for three hours without any explanation, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The correspondents from RFE/RL and the local newspapers "Alash ainasy," "Ush qiyan," "Dorozhny patrul," and "Orda KZ" were detained as they attempted to attend the trial of an alleged leader of a religious group that has been branded extremist.

The Almaly district court in Almaty is trying a leader of the NGO Senim-Bilim-Omir (Trust-Knowledge-Life), a Sufi group. No details of the case have been made public.

RFE/RL correspondent Kuanyshbek Kari says the police demanded written explanations for why the journalists wanted to attend the trial, searched their professional equipment and personal belongings, and took their pictures and fingerprints.