Petrushova, Irina

Husband is Muratbek Ketebaev, co-founder of the Kazakh opposition party Alga, who also features in this database.

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Irina Petrushova is Chief Editor of Respublika opposition newspaper and a 2002 recipient of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award. Forced to leave Kazakhstan in 2002 after enduring threats in retaliation for her reporting on high-level corruption (Latysheva,  2004).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   not Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2004 & 2005.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

Formally charged with tax-evasion, Petrushova has claimed that this is a banal attempt to shut her up. Her name is presently on the federal list of wanted criminals (Latysheva,  2004).

She received death threats, the premises of her newspaper were burned downed and the Kazakh authorities tried to kidnap her son from school (Bonnici, 2015). 

In 2016 Petrushova and other dissidents were the aim of hackers that tried to infect them with spyware. It is believed to be done on behalf of Kazakhstan government officials (Reuters, 2016).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

In March 2004, Petrushova was detained by police in St. Petersburg, Russia, on an arrest order for allegedly violating Kazakh tax laws. The Russian police released Petrushova after four hours, saying they did not want to interfere in Kazakhstan's political affairs, according to Russian and international press reports (Committee to Protect Journalists,  2004 , 2005). On the 23rd April 2005, Petrushova was detained again, this time by police in the Russian city of Volokolamsk. The prosecutor general's office ruled that Petrushova had been held improperly on an expired Kazakh warrant and ordered her release after two days in detention (Committee to Protect Journalists, 2005, 2006).

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .

Current status:

Released in Russia, yet Petrushova has been consistently harassed by the authorities (Committee to Protect Journalists, 2005,  2006).

Press sources:

Marina Latysheva, 2004.  ‘Kazakhstan approached Russia with the request to extradite Irina Petrushova, editor of Respublika opposition newspaper’, 17th December 2004. Fergana News [Online]. Available at:

Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2005 - Kazakhstan, February 2006.[Online]. Available at:

Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2004 - Kazakhstan, February 2005.[Online]. Available

Therese Bonnici, 2015. "The journalist who had to deal with threats of 'you're next', burnt offices and a beheaded dog", 7 April 2015. [Online]. Available at: 

Reuters (2016) Kazakh dissidents and lawyers hit by cyber attacks: researchers. Reuters. [online] 2 Aug. Available at:[Accessed 4 Feb. 2019].