Police in Astana, Kazakhstan, briefly detained an RFE/RL reporter and cameraman on January 9 when they tried to cover a protest in front of the government’s headquarters.
Zhoyamergen said he did not have a chance to interview the protesters, who also were detained. Police later told the RFE/RL journalists that they were detained “by mistake,” Zhoyamergen said. Zhoyamergen said police also asked him and Amirkhanov to delete all the footage they had recorded of the demonstration.
But he said they refused on the grounds that they were doing their jobs in a public space, their photos and video footage was their private property, and nobody had the authority to force them to destroy the materials. Zhoyamergen said police did not insist on the destruction of the footage and later released them. The protesters insist the charges against Abiev were politically motivated.