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Firing and fine over Kazakh journalist’s arrest

The police action against Kazakh journalist Balli Marzec will cost a Slovak Police supervisor his job.

THE POLICE action against Kazakh journalist Balli Marzec will cost a Slovak Police supervisor his job.

Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák announced on November 27 that he will sack the head of the Bratislava police unit that led the action. The supervisor of the event security from the Office for the Protection of Constitutional Officials will also be fined, the SITA newswire wrote.

On November 21, when Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev arrived for an official visit, police officers dragged Marzec to a police car after she staged a protest in front of the Presidential Palace. She was alleged to have interrupted the Kazakh anthem by proclaiming through a megaphone that human rights are not respected in Kazakhstan.

Marzec, 48, claims that in the car, police kicked her in the belly and hit her in the face. She was driven to the police station and interrogated for 13 hours. First she was charged with an attack on a public official, but the charge was later thrown out.

According to Kaliňák, the security office failed to properly handle Marzec’s protest, the Pravda daily wrote. The police could have merely moved her 10 metres further away and the problem would have been solved, Kaliňák said.

“I see it as a mistake,” he said.

An Interior Ministry investigation found that the action against Marzec was unjustified, the SITA newswire wrote.

Marzec told the Sme daily that she had to undergo surgery at a hospital in Poland, where she lives now.

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