In the afternoon of June 10, independent journalist and “Oyan Qazqstan” civic movement activist Assem Zhapisheva was detained by the police in Almaty.
Shortly after journalists, human rights advocates and activists intervened, Assem Zhapisheva was released from the Auezov district police department in Almaty where she had been delivered after the arrest.
They said, “We have no law here. Nothing here works according to law.”
Outside the police premises Zhapisheva commented on her arrest:
“I was detained despite the fact that I told the police I was a journalist. I was detained along with fifty other people. At the police department, all of them were forced to give away their phones and reveal the contents. When I asked for a lawyer and told the policemen that according to law they had no right to take the detainees’ phones, they said, “We have no law here. Nothing here works according to law.” At first, I was detained for 24 hours, but later, when journalists began to interfere and made the police department’s phone ringing off the hook — it was all happening right before my eyes — they apologized to me and tore up the detention report, although they had interrogated me without lawyers, threatened me all the time and said terrible things to me.
I saw 30 people being detained. I heard someone screaming and being beaten. It is not clear what is happening at all. I was very lucky that my phone battery had died and that my fellow journalists stood up for me.”