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In the ‘Respublika’ newspaper security service workers confiscate office equipment

Confiscation of computers and other office equipment by the workers of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan began in the office of the ‘Golos Respubliki’ newspaper in Almaty. It was based on the fact that Oksana Makushina, the deputy editor of the title was a speaker at a press conference in support of Igor Vinyavski, the editor of the ‘Vzglyad’ newspaper, which was held at the National Press Club in the city of Almaty on Monday.

All the speakers at the press conference, namely: Oksana Makushina, Lana Vinyavskaya and Sergey Utkin were ordered to report to the NSC for questioning.

Lana Vinyavskaya, the wife of the arrested editor of the ‘Vzglyad’ is still under interrogation.

Sergei Utkin is now abroad, but he made a comment on this issue for his colleagues from the editorial staff. The comment was given over the phone. He was very surprised at what is happening:

Now it turns out that all those who decided to publicly discuss the legality of the charges filed by the NSC against Igor Vinyavskiy automatically end up in the crosshairs of the National Security Committee with the probability to be put behind bars. Such a scenario would probably not be possible in the life of any civilised country, except as a plot for a comedy about the life of some intelligence services, but in Kazakhstan we are all far from laughing now. I cannot even imagine what harm is being caused to the society from the public debate on the issue of bringing the charge against Vinyavskiy. In any criminal trial there is a prosecutor, but there is also a defender. The society acts in a similar way. There are people who will probably support the version of the secret services, but there are also others who will support the position of the defense. We went to the press conference to express our position. We stated that we do not understand what kind of  danger this leaflet may possibly pose. How does it call for violence? We honestly cannot understand it. But the investigators seem to have decided not to explain anything, and not to engage in discussion, and apparently, in the dispute they intend to use their main argument: an opportunity to put people behind bars. Just for a ‘wrong’ opinion. For ‘obtuseness’.

 Yesterday, Oksana Makushina was held under interrogation by the NSC for nearly seven hours – from 3.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. And today, the interrogation has been ongoing since 1.00 p.m.

In general, the worker who talked with me, was interested in such things as: who initiated the press conference, where did we get the decision to institute criminal proceedings against Igor and where did we get the leaflet itself, how many items of leaflets were distributed at the press conference – said Oksana Makushina after questioning. – When asked if I knew that “the texts of leaflets bear signs of urging  for a violent overthrow of the government of the RK,” I said outright that I saw no appeals for overthrowing or seizure of the government in Kazakhstan in the leaflet; in fact, there is nothing like this in it. This was exactly the matter which was discussed at a press conference in support of Igor.

Here are the questions that the NSC workers were extremely interested in:

“Who demonstrated the leaflet with the text ‘Kirgizstan got rid of the Bakiev ‘thievish’ family. It’s enough! Let’s throw them on the scrapyard’ during the press conference to the journalists?”

“Who initiated the demonstration of the  leaflets?”

“Were you aware that the texts of leaflets bear signs of calling for a violent overthrow of the government in the RK?”

“Who gave the press release to reporters?”

“Don’t you think that by your performance and distribution of press releases, to which flyers were attached, you could encourage people to organise mass riots?”

The editors of the “Republic”