Brother Of Banned Kazakh Paper's Founder Gets Suspended Sentence

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A brother of a banned newspaper's founder has received a suspended four-year sentence for illegal possession of a large amount of psychotropic medicine.

Asqar Moldashev told journalists after his sentence was announced on March 1 that his case was retaliation by Kazakhstan’s security services for his refusal to cooperate with them.

He said authorities wanted him to report on his brother's activities and "persuade" him to stop his media work.

Asqar Moldashev is a brother of Daniyar Moldashev, a founder of opposition "Golos Respubliki" (Voice of the Republic) newspaper.

The "Golos Respubliki" weekly and dozens of other media outlets were banned in December for carrying what Kazakh authorities deemed "extremist content."

Last month, an Almaty court ordered the newspaper's chief editor, Tatyana Trubacheva, to pay a $220 fine for violation of the ban.