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Journalist Aziz Myrzabayev attacked, his camera stolen after filming police raid

(CJES/IFEX) - Aziz Myrzabayev, a journalist with the Otyrar television channel in Shymkent, South Kazakhstan province, took part in a police raid under editorial assignment in the early hours of 17 March 2009.

During the raid, the police pulled over a car with no license plates. The people in the car demanded that the journalist stop filming them and started threatening him. The journalist says they even fired several shots in the air with an Osa pistol.

When Myrzabayev was returning home from work, he was attacked by five men, who were later joined by ten others. The men beat him and took his camera. Myrzabayev sustained bruises from the attack.

The journalist and Vyacheslav Shvarts, deputy director of the limited liability company Sobcor, who is the founder of the television channel, believe the attackers were looking to destroy the videos taken by the journalist during the raid.

Myrzabayev reported the attack to the police, who have opened an investigation into the incident. To date, one of the attackers has been arrested.

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