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Unknown Assailants Attack Journalists in Kazakhstan

RFE/RL journalists attacked in Kazakhstan
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RFE/RL journalists attacked in Kazakhstan

Unknown assailants attacked two RFE/RL journalists in Almaty, Kazakhstan, shouting "don't film."

The assault upon cameraman Tokmolda Kussainov, recorded by reporter Nurgul Tapayeva on her phone, resulted in damage to the camera. Tapayeva was also attacked.

The incident occurred as the RFE/RL team was arriving for a news conference by a human rights group, at which activists planned to update on the fate of two recently arrested women.

The women were among hundreds who attended an unauthorized rally in Almaty in May, calling for a boycott of the presidential election.

The organizers of the news conference said it was unable to go ahead as around 20 unidentified women arrived and disrupted it, also attacking other journalists.
This is the second attack on RFE/RL journalists in Kazakhstan this month.

On July 6 an unknown assailant used pepper gas on an RFE/RL team in the capital, Nur-Sultan, covering a protest. The same day, unidentified people tried to prevent them filming the protest by standing in front of their cameras with opened umbrellas.

The group Reporters Without Borders ranks Kazakhstan 151 out of 180 nations in protecting press freedoms.