Annual Prison Census 2009: Kazakhstan
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||8 December 2009|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2009: Kazakhstan, 8 December 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b220c9ec.html [accessed 27 January 2015]|
Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2009
Ramazan Yesergepov, Alma-Ata Info
Imprisoned: January 7, 2009
Kazakh security service (KNB) agents seized Yesergepov from a hospital bed in Almaty in early January, and placed him in detention in the southern city of Taraz on charges of disclosing state secrets. Yesergepov, editor of Alma-Ata Info, had published two internal KNB memos alongside an article alleging that the regional KNB tried to influence a prosecutor and judge in a criminal tax evasion case.
The KNB classified his case as a state secret, which meant his family and colleagues could not access the case file or attend hearings, according to Rozlana Taukina, head of the Almaty-based Journalists in Danger Foundation. The lawyer who initially defended Yesergepov resigned from the case in June without explanation and left Kazakhstan, Taukina told CPJ.
In August, a Taraz City Court judge sentenced Yesergepov to three years in prison on the charge of "collection of classified information." Raushan Yesergepova, the journalist's wife, told the Kazakh service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that a state-appointed defense lawyer did not attend Yesergepov's final hearing, and that armed police officers prevented her and her husband's supporters from entering the court.
On October 22, a regional court in Taraz rejected Yesergepov's appeal, according to local news reports.