Kazakhstan detains government critic for `spreading false information'

ALMATY - Kazakhstan has detained political activist and government critic Arman Shorayev in connection with the alleged spreading of "false information" during a state of emergency, police said on Saturday.
The former television executive turned nationalist politician has often attacked members of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's cabinet, while avoiding criticism of the president himself.
"Using social networks, citizen Shurayev... has repeatedly spread knowingly false information," a brief police statement said, without providing further details.
It said Shurayev's actions had endangered public order at the time of the national coronavirus emergency and could be punishable by up to seven years in prison.
In a Facebook post made around mid-day on Saturday, Shorayev accused a senior official of corruption. In other recent posts he criticized the government's borrowing plans and the cost of building a specialized 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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