Kazakh activist released after being held for spreading false information

ALMATY (Reuters) – A nationalist politician in Kazakhstan who has criticised the government was released on Monday after two days detention on accusations of spreading false information during the coronavirus emergency, his sister said.

Police detained political activist Arman Shorayev on Saturday and said the investigation involving him was ongoing. Officials have not said publicly whether he has been charged or what false information he was accused of spreading.

Shorayev’s sister Zhannar Shurayeva, who announced his release on Facebook, wrote on his behalf that the activist regretted publishing information that had not been fact-checked.

The former television executive turned nationalist politician has often criticised members of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s cabinet while avoiding criticism of the president himself.

In recent Facebook posts and interviews, Shorayev accused senior officials of corruption and criticised the government’s borrowing plans and the cost of building a specialised hospital for coronavirus patients.

Last year, he became a member of the council of national trust, an advisory body set up by Tokayev, but was removed by the president this year along with several other members in what officials said was a planned rotation.

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