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Kazakh Journalist Charged With Assaulting Policeman She Says Attacked Her

Kazakhstan "Golos respubliki" correspondent Larisa Chen at a press conference. Almaty on April 21 (courtesy "Golos respubliki").
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Journalists at a Kazakh opposition newspaper are appealing to the authorities on behalf of a colleague accused of attacking a police officer she says assaulted her, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The "Golos respubliki" (Voice of the Republic) newspaper today called on Kazakhstan's prosecutor-general to halt what it called the "persecution" of Larisa Chen "for her fair and professional journalism,"

Chen told journalists in Almaty today that the investigation came from her altercation in June last year with police officer Maulen Arinov in the central town of Shakhtinsk.

Chen said Arinov, who was guarding the building of the local governor's office in Shakhtinsk, did not allow her to enter the premises. When she started filming Arinov with her video camera, he hit her and forcibly tried to take her mobile phone from her.

Local police launched an investigation into the incident and pronounced Chen the attacker and Arinov the victim.

Arinov procured a medical certificate stating that he suffered numerous bruises and injuries during the fight.

But the local prosecutor's office sent the case back to the investigators and demanded further investigation.

Read more in Russian here