Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Nation & World


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 1:24 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Kazakhstan court refuses to free jailed editor

Kazakhstan's highest court refused Thursday to overturn a prison sentence for a newspaper editor in a case that has drawn widespread international condemnation.

Associated Press Writer

ALMATY, Kazakhstan —

Kazakhstan's highest court refused Thursday to overturn a prison sentence for a newspaper editor in a case that has drawn widespread international condemnation.

Ramazan Yesergepov was arrested in January and charged with revealing state secrets in a move that has tarnished the ex-Soviet nation's democratic credentials as it prepares to assume the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - a leading trans-Atlantic security and rights body.

His arrest came after he published correspondence in the small-circulation weekly Alma-Ata Info that appeared to show collusion in corruption between a Kazakh businessman and the National Security Committee, the successor agency to the KGB.

Yesergepov was sentenced Saturday to three years in prison. The Kazakh Supreme Court said Thursday it rejected an appeal to investigate the legality of the decision.

In bidding for the 2010 chairmanship of the OSCE, Kazakhstan pledged to institute a range of democratic reforms, including improving media liberties.

But in usually frank language, the OSCE criticized Yesergepov's jailing this week, saying it violated international standards and Kazakhstan's commitments on media freedom.

"Criminalizing civilians or journalists for breach of secrecy deprives the public of important information and leaves investigative journalism without one of its most important tools; the liberty to go beyond official stonewalling," OSCE media rights representative Miklos Haraszti said in a letter addressed to the Kazakh government.

The opposition Azat party said Yesergepov was jailed to intimidate the journalistic community.

"We are convinced of Yesergepov's innocence ... and we demand his immediate release from prison," it said in a statement Thursday.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders last year ranked Kazakhstan 125th out of 173 countries in its press freedom index.

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

More Nation & World headlines...

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising


Get home delivery today!

More Nation & World

UPDATE - 10:01 AM
Rebels tighten hold on Libya oil port

UPDATE - 09:29 AM
Reality leads US to temper its tough talk on Libya

UPDATE - 09:38 AM
2 Ark. injection wells may be closed amid quakes

Armed guards save Dutch couple from Somali pirates

Navy to release lewd video investigation findings

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

Advertising