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Prominent Kazakh Journalist Fined For Libel, Again

Lukpan Akhmedyarov
ORAL, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Oral has again fined an opposition journalist for libel.

Lukpan Akhmedyarov and his employer, the "Uralskaya nedelya" weekly, were ordered to pay 1.5 million tenges ($7,700) to a local finance police officer for allegedly insulting him in an article.

In July, Akhmedyarov was found guilty of insulting a local official and ordered to pay him 5 million tenges ($33,000).

The international media group Reporters Without Borders condemned the court's decision then.

The group called it a move "to strangle the journalist financially."

In April, Akhmedyarov survived a vicious attack in which he was stabbed and shot with an air pistol.

Last month, Akhmedyarov received the prestigious Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism at a ceremony in the United States.
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