Provincial reporter hounded by courts in Kazakhstan
The press freedom organization urges Kazakhstan's supreme court to overturn this ruling, especially as it would have a major intimidatory effect on independent and opposition media, which are being harassed more and more.
The decision ordering Akhmedyarov to pay this exorbitant sum in damages was issued by the lower court on 20 July in a defamation case brought by Tlekkabyl Imashev, a high-ranking local official.
Akhmedyarov is to receive the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism at a ceremony in Washington on 12 October. The prize is awarded jointly by Global Media Forum and Reporters Without Borders.
In April, Akhmedyarov was seriously injured in a knife attack and spent nearly a month in hospital.