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Kazakhstan authorities refused refugee status to opposition journalist from Buryatia

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Kazakhstan authorities have refused to grant refugee status to Yevgeniya Baltatarova, an opposition journalist from Buryatia. She may be deported to Russia where she is under investigation on charges of spreading fake information about the army. Baltatarova reported on her situation on November 11 on her Telegram channel.

The Kazakhstan authorities have rejected a request for refugee status from journalist Yevgeniya Baltatarova. She has filed a court appeal on this decision; however, she doubts it will be successful. She refers to the lack of "positive practice" in such cases.

The journalist left Russia in March 2022, fleeing a criminal prosecution on charges of spreading fakes about the Russian army. The case against her was based on her post about the Bucha massacre and her reference to a story by politician Maxim Katz about an explosion at the Mariupol Drama Theater. Both publications were made on her Telegram channel.

Baltatarova says the investigation into her case has been extended. She believes the authorities are waiting for her extradition from Kazakhstan.

Because of the war in Ukraine dozens of Russian journalists and activists have emigrated to Kazakhstan in the hope of finding safe haven in this country. However, they remain at risk. For example, in October 2023, Yakut activist Aikhal Ammosov was taken into custody and placed in a pre-trial detention center. 

He was detained on a request from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Yakutia as a person wanted in a criminal case of repeatedly discrediting the army. The case was initiated after Ammosov published a video appeal against the war and displayed an anti-war banner. The activist may be extradited to Russia.


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