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Kazakh Web TV Journalists Link Inspections To Coverage

Elina Zhdanova (left) and Baurzhan Musirov
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A web-based television channel in Kazakhstan says it has been subjected to intrusive inspections because of its independent news coverage, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Two editors of the Almaty-based Stan-TV, Elina Zhdanova and Baurzhan Musirov, told journalists on August 23 that their offices were inspected without prior warning last week by representatives of the Almaty city architecture-and-construction-control, fire-safety control, and sanitary-control boards.

They said the inspectors told them the inspections were undertaken in response to written complaints from residents of nearby apartment blocks about a large antenna placed on the roof of Stan-TV's office. The inspectors said the residents complained that the antenna was affecting their health.

Zhdanova and Musirov said they subsequently met with some of those residents, who told them local police pressured them to write letters of complaint.

The Stan-TV representatives told journalists they plan to formally request that Almaty city police and the National Security Committee (KNB) investigate whether the inspection of their offices was legal.

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