Radio Liberty journalists detained for several hours amid protests in Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan on January 4, police detained and held for several hours two Radio Liberty journalists, Darkhan Omirbek and Kasim Amanzhol, who were covering protests over a sharp hike in prices for liquefied natural gas, as Radio Liberty's Kazakh service - Radio Azattyq reported.
Thus, the editor of the Kazakh service of Radio Liberty Darkhan Omirbek was detained in the capital Nur-Sultani, while he was covering the protests near the "Asem" market place. He was detained for more than four hours at the police station.
Acting head of the service Kasim Amanzhol was detained in Almaty without explanation, despite he presented his press card. He filmed protests in the area of the “Zhetysu” market. The journalist was kept in the police station for about two hours and then apologized to him.
Protests in Kazakhstan began on January 2 in the western city of Zhanaozen, Mangystau region, where most cars are refueled. Fuel prices in the new year jumped to 120 tenge per liter, while in the middle of last year it was 55-60 tenge (about $0,12 – 0,13). On January 4, protests engulfed cities in the north, center and south of the country. Their participants blamed government with corruption, unemployment and low wages. Many protesters demanded government to resign.
Police detained activists and protesters.
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