Astana Rejects Russian Court’s Summons Of Kazakh Journalists Over Ukraine War Article

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Kazakh Foreign Ministry officials have rejected a Russian court’s summoning of editors of the Arbat.media news website over an article it published about Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Ministry officials told Arbat.media on February 6 that the decision last month by the Lenin district court in Russia’s Vladimir region “has no legal force in Kazakhstan.”

Arbat.media said last week that it had received a letter from the Russian court ordering its editors to show up at a trial in the city of Vladimir on February 17. At issue was the website’s article “Russia Occupiers Do Not Admit Defeat In Kharkiv,” which was published in September.

The letter said that a lawsuit against the Kazakh website was filed by Russian armed forces military unit 56680 and Russian Military Prosecutor’s Office No 19.

The Almaty-based Adil Soz (A Just Word) group, which monitors journalists’ rights, had urged the Kazakh government to react to the Russian court’s decision.

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said in an official letter to Arbat.media that there are no bilateral agreements between Kazakhstan and Russia on mutual interference in media activities, adding that the media outlet did not violate any Kazakh laws, while Russian legal motions against Kazakh citizens have no power on the territory of Kazakhstan.

“The norms of international law state that everyone has the right to freely express opinions; this right includes the freedom to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas of any kind, regardless of national borders, orally, in writing or by means of print or artistic forms of expression, or by other means of their choice,” the ministry’s letter said.

This is the first time a Russian court had summoned Kazakh journalists over an article about Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine, launched last February.

Source: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty