Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan has expressed concern over the detention of French journalist Vincent Prado and his interpreter Danara Ismetova in Aqtau, the capital of the Mangystau region of Kazakhstan.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, urged Kazakh authorities to allow Vincent Prado and his interpreter to work without hindrance and ensure press freedom in Kazakhstan.
According to Adil Soz – International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech, on September 27, immigration officers briefly detained Prado and Danara while they were working on an investigative story about the deadly protests that took place in 2011, in the southwestern town of Zhanaozen.
They were arrested while recording an interview with a participant of the Zhanaozen protests. Prado was charged with violating the rules of accreditation.
According to Danara, Prado had submitted an application to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry before his visit to the country and specified only Almaty and Astana as locations where he would be shooting, and then he was accused of shooting in Mangystau without permission.
Prado was later released after an administrative court judge banned him from shooting in the Aktau region and ordered him to pay a fine of 60,000 Kazakh tenge (US$166) for violating immigration laws.