MARCH 23, 2005
Posted: March 28, 2005

Azamat Kalman, Journalists Trade Union

Kalman, head of the country’s independent Journalists Trade Union, suffered two broken legs while covering the escalating unrest that prompted President Askar Akayev to flee the country.

Kalman was beaten by police officers dispersing anti-Akayev protests in the capital, Bishkek, and then pushed off a 10-foot-high ledge by supporters of the president. Kuban Mambetaliyev, head of the Bishkek-based press freedom group Journalists, said Kalman was hospitalized.

The demonstrations came amid widespread anger over fraud-marred parliamentary elections—and after weeks of government censorship, harassment, and obstruction of the press.