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Kazakh Lawyer Sues TV Channel For 'Insulting Kazakhs'

A Kazakh lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the Russian-Kazakh television channel First Channel-Eurasia, accusing it of "insulting Kazakhs."

Nurkhan Zhumabekov told RFE/RL that he had officially filed the lawsuit with the Bostandyq district court in Almaty on May 16.

Zhumabekov said the state-controlled TV channel had "lied" in programs by claiming that recent mass protests across Kazakhstan against land privatization had been organized by unidentified individuals whom the channel's reporters called "the fifth column."

The TV station's reports also claimed that participants in the protests had received between $50 and $150 to take part.

Zhumabekov said the reports were "lies aimed at discrediting Kazakhs" and he is demanding 100,000 tenges ($305) from the television channel as a compensation for "the moral damage."

Activists in Kazakhstan plan to organize a mass protest against land privatization on May 21.

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