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Media group employee assaulted, group president's car set on fire

(Adil Soz/IFEX) - On 17 September 2008, Nurseit Kaltayev, a driver for the Aygak media group, was assaulted and the car of the group's president, Dulat Abish, was set on fire. The incident occurred at a car wash in Shymkent, South Kazakhstan.

Kaltayev went to the car wash on the morning of 17 September. When he got out of the car, he was beaten by unknown individuals. The assailants splashed gasoline on the car and set it on fire. The fire was doused very quickly, but part of the car's passenger compartment was burnt.

Firemen, policemen and an ambulance arrived at the scene. Kaltayev, who had fainted, was taken to hospital.

Abish believes the incident is linked to the work of Aygak, an exclusive independent media group in South Kazakhstan region. Aygak's holdings include a television station and several newspapers. Abish, a journalist and a camera operator were recently on a business trip in one of the districts in the region, during which they collected information on a conflict pitting the Akim district against directors and employees of local schools.

Staff at the Department of Internal Affairs in Al-Farabi district are carrying out an investigation based on Abish's statement.

Adil Soz will continue to follow developments in this unfolding story. In a letter to the Department of Internal Affairs, the organisation called for a prompt investigation and for sanctions against the guilty parties.

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