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Missing Kazakh Opposition Publisher Reportedly In Minsk

Daniyar Moldashev
Daniyar Moldashev
ALMATY -- The brother of a missing Kazakh opposition publisher says he has located his brother in Minsk, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Daniyar Moldashev, the director of the Almaty-based ADP publishing house, has been missing since March 25 when he was reportedly beaten and robbed by unknown assailants on his way home from the Almaty airport after arriving from Moscow.

Colleagues said last week that Moldashev was in Moscow to meet with editors from the opposition newspaper "Respublika." The attackers allegedly took his camera and some documents related to his work with "Respublika."

ADP publishing house representatives said today that Moldashev's brother, Asqar Moldashev, who left for Minsk on April 3, phoned Almaty-based lawyer Sergei Utkin from the Belarusian capital today and said Moldashev is in Minsk and in good condition.

Asqar Moldashev said he will further explain the entire situation when he returns to Almaty later this week. He said his brother currently has no plans to return to Kazakhstan.

On March 31, Almaty police issued an official statement saying that Moldashev was neither abducted nor robbed but had been attacked and taken to hospital where he "refused to cooperate" with police.

"Respublika" had to move its headquarters to Moscow from Almaty several years ago after Kazakh authorities imposed restrictions on the newspaper.

"Golos respubliki," another opposition publication that is published by ADP, had to suspend its operations due to pressure being imposed by local authorities several times, and some of its reporters have been attacked and beaten in the past.

Read more in Russian here