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Opposition journalist stabbed in Almaty

(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a 30 December 2008 CPJ press release:

Kazakhstan: Opposition journalist stabbed in Almaty

New York, December 30, 2008 - Kazakh authorities must launch a thorough investigation into the stabbing of Artyom Miusov, a reporter with the opposition weekly Taszhargan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Miusov suffered serious internal injuries after an assailant approached him outside an Almaty supermarket, asked his name, and then stabbed him three times in the abdomen, Taszhargan Editor-in-Chief Almat Azadi told CPJ.

Miusov, who writes under the name Oleg Kudashev, was in stable condition today after undergoing surgery, Azadi said. The assailant said "Greetings to you" as he stabbed Miusov, said Azadi, who spoke with the reporter at the hospital. News reports, which also recounted details of the stabbing, said that nothing was taken in the 10 p.m. attack.

"We call on Kazakh authorities to investigate the attack on Artyom Miusov thoroughly and aggressively, pursuing every possible lead including his journalism," CPJ's Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "Physical violence left unpunished creates a dangerous climate for the entire press corps. Reporters should not be afraid for their safety."

Miusov has written both news and commentary for Taszhargan, usually on city politics and local notables, Azadi told CPJ. Azadi said he was not aware of any threats against Miusov, and he said the reporter had not been covering any sensitive issues. Miusov told the editor that he did not recognize the assailant but had seen him earlier Monday outside Taszhargan's offices.

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

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