Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014, 13:28 GMT

RFE/RL Kazakh reporter, activist, sued for libel

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 26 August 2011
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, RFE/RL Kazakh reporter, activist, sued for libel, 26 August 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e6f682328.html [accessed 19 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

August 26, 2011

RFE/RL correspondent in Kazakhstan Alima AbdirovaRFE/RL correspondent in Kazakhstan Alima Abdirova

AQTOBE, Kazakhstan – A rights activist and RFE/RL correspondent in Kazakhstan is being sued for libel after she alleged children at a special needs school were being abused, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Alima Abdirova is due to appear in court in the western city of Aqtobe on August 27 after the former director of the school took legal action.

Abdirova is being sued as a member of the independent Kazakh Bureau for Human Rights group, and not as a journalist.

The case centers on comments Abdirova made in an article published in a local newspaper in May, where she said children at the Aqtobe boarding school were subject to beatings and neglect,

Irina Dombrovskaya, the school's former director, says Abdirova's comments unfairly portrayed the situation. She is demanding 5 million tenge (some $34,000) for moral damages and 60,000 tenge (some $400) for court costs. Abdirova could also face up to three years in prison if convicted.

Abdirova said the court has ignored the testimony of some witnesses, including that of a former student who alleged violence and other abuses at the school

Abdirova recently has been reporting on security problems in western Kazakhstan where there was a suicide bombing and a clash between security forces and alleged Islamic militants earlier this year.

A regional television station reported on the alleged Islamic militants and showed a photograph of Abdirova with the caption "accomplice" on the screen.

Abdirova said she believes the libel case against her is retaliation by the state security committee (KNB) for her coverage.

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

Search Refworld

Countries