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Kazakh Journalist Hospitalized After Reported Stabbing

Ramazan Yesergepov appears in court in Almaty in August 2016.

A Kazakh journalist and civic activist has been hospitalized after he was reportedly stabbed in the stomach before he planned to meet European officials to discuss media freedoms.

A nurse at a hospital in the southern Kazakh city of Shu told RFE/RL on May 14 that Ramazan Yesergepov, the former editor in chief of the independent newspaper Alma-Ata Info, was in serious but stable condition after arriving in the morning.

Yesergepov's colleagues said he had been traveling by train to the capital, Astana, where he had planned to meet ambassadors from several EU countries to discuss the case of a jailed opposition journalist and his own legal travails.

Yesergepov's colleague, journalist Rozlana Taukina, said she received a call early on May 14 from his phone, and that a man on the other end said the journalist had been "stabbed."

Taukina said she later received a call from a police officer who hung up after he learned she was a journalist. She said she called back, and that the officer then told her "everything was fine" with Yesergepov.

The precise nature and circumstances of Yesergepov's injuries could not be immediately confirmed.

Local media quoted transport police in Shu as saying that an investigation into the incident had been opened.

Yesergepov, 61, was released from prison in 2012 after serving a three-year sentence for his conviction on charges of disclosing state secrets.

He has been fighting for his formal rehabilitation, which Kazakh authorities have resisted. Yesergepov currently runs a nongovernmental organization called Journalists In Trouble.

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