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Kazakhstan Reduces Charges Against Chief Of Journalists' Union

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh authorities have reduced the charges against the head of the Kazakh Journalists' Union and chairman of the National Press Club, a local media rights group says.

The Almaty-based Adil Soz (A Just Word) organization said on May 25 that the charges against Seitqazy Mataev had been reduced from embezzlement and tax evasion to abuse of trust.

Investigators made the decision on May 23, according to Adil Soz.

Mataev was detained by police in February and a court in Almaty ordered him to stay in pretrial detention.

He denies any wrongdoing.

Rights organizations have also denounced the charges against Mataev as retaliation for his work as head of the journalists' union.

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