Jailed Kazakh journalist to walk free from prison

Jailed Kazakh journalist to walk free from prison
(Image: Wing1990hk under a CC licence)

13 July 2016

Prominent Kazakh journalist Guzyal Baidalinova is set to be released from prison, after an Almaty court suspended her 18-month sentence.

Yesterday the Almaty Court of Appeals ruled that the journalist should be released from prison with immediate effect but not permitted to leave the city.

Ms Baidalinova, the owner and editor of the Nakanune.kz online news portal, was charged in May this year with publishing false information about Kazkommertsbank, one of Kazakhstan’s principal banks.

Known for its independence and critical voice, especially relating to the actions of the Kazakh authorities, Nakanune.kz has been under scrutiny by the government, which in recent years has enacted a crackdown on independent media outlets and journalists.

Ms Baidalinova is seen by many as an emblem of resistance to such developments. Shortly after she was sentenced, she won the Liberty award, an annual award established by opposition groups in 2003 to honour the contributions of journalists, writers, artists, and activists to democracy in the country.

Source: Radio Liberty