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Two journalists covering demonstration arrested, later released

(Adil Soz/IFEX) - On 20 December 2007, two journalists - Aizada Kutuyeva of the news agency and Tolkun Namatbayeva of Agence France Presse - were arrested in the capital, Bishkek, while covering a demonstration against the outcome of parliamentary elections. Along with other protesters, they were taken to the city's Interior Department. They were released after the media outlets' management requested the Interior Ministry's help.

Tolkun Namatbayeva said the police knew she was a journalist because she was using a dictaphone and notebook while covering the demonstration. Furthermore, she showed her press credentials to the police when they were arresting her. She said, "They kept ignoring my press ID and insisting that I write an explanatory note on what I was doing there."

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