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ARCHIVES: Kazakhstan

June 26, 2009

Kazakhstan parliament adopts bill curbing online freedom

Kazakh legislators on Thursday passed an Internet Bill, pending before Parliament since April 29, which will drastically curb online freedom by making it possible to bring criminal prosecutions against bloggers over what they write, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) and Kazakh organisation Journalist In Danger have reported. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has not yet signed it into law. “There was a need for a law to regulate online media but this bill endangers freedom of expression,” both... MORE
March 4, 2009

Independent Kazakh newspaper faces closure after astronomical fine for "defamation"

The Almaty appeal court has been accused by press freedom groups of seeking to ruin an independent newspaper by imposing a fine that it and its journalists would find impossible to pay. A case for defamation was brought by parliament deputy, Ramin Madinov, against the editor of the weekly newspaper Tasjargan , Bakyttoul Makimbai and a journalist, Almas Koucherbayev after it carried an article on April 24, 2008, headlined “the poor landowner”. The deputy had asked the court for an apology and... MORE
February 8, 2009

Security agents continue to hold Kazakh editor

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the immediate release of Ramazan Yesergepov, editor of the independent Almaty-based weekly Alma-Ata Info , who was seized by security agents from his hospital bed a month ago. The Kazakhstan Security Committee (KNB) took Yesergepov on January 6 from an Almaty hospital where he was being treated for high blood pressure, and put him in a KNB detention centre in Taraz, in southern Kazakhstan, according to local press freedom advocates. He is... MORE
February 8, 2009

Pro-opposition journalist severely beaten in Kazakhstan

Following a vicious attack in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on a reporter for a pro-opposition weekly, the Committee to Protect Journalists has called for the Kazakh authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation and to bring the assailants to justice. At least three young men attacked Bakhytzhan Nurpeisov, 19, of the weekly Obshchestvennaya Pozitsiya (Public Position), at around 9 p.m. on Thursday when he was walking home, Reuters reported. The assailants also took Nurpeisov's camera,... MORE
January 22, 2009

RFE/RL website editor beaten unconscious in Almaty

Several unidentified assailants attacked Yermek Boltai, a reporter and editor for the website of the Kazakh service of the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), in Kazakhstan's financial capital of Almaty on Sunday, the broadcaster reported. The assailants reportedly did not take any of the editor's valuables, including his money and cellphone. The attackers hit Boltai with bottles and kicked him, and he was treated for a concussion, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service Director... MORE
January 8, 2009

Security men arrest hospitalised Kazakhstan editor on charge of divulging confidential information

Ramazan Yesergepov, ailing editor of independent weekly Alma-Ata Info , was seized from an Almaty hospital on Tuesday by government agents, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported. The Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB), whose agents seized Yesergepov, said in a statement that the editor was being investigated for allegedly disclosing state secrets, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. Yesergepov's newspaper had published two internal KNB memos... MORE
December 5, 2008

Draft amendments to Kazakh laws a small step forward, but offer no path to real change

The Kazakh government's human rights record, including free speech issues, is inconsistent with standards embraced by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose chairmanship the former is to take over in 2010. This, says Human rights Watch, risks undermining the integrity of the institution's human rights principles. One of the key problem areas is the government's rigid approach towards media, says HRW in a 55-page report 'An Atmosphere of Quiet Repression: Freedom... MORE
December 4, 2008

Intelligence agency pressures Kazakh newspaper editor to reveal source of leak

An independent Kazakh journalist is being continually harassed by the country's National Security Committee (KNB), which wants him to reveal how he obtained an internal KNB memo. The harassment led Ramazan Esergepov to seek refuge inside the US consulate in Almaty. “The pressure applied to Esergepov was out of all proportion,” Reporters sans Frontières said. “KNB should track down the source of the leak within its own ranks. Esergepov has nothing to answer for. The confidentiality of a reporter... MORE
December 2, 2007

Media oppressor Kazakhstan to head body that values democratic norms

Kazakhstan will become the first ex-Soviet state to assume the chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The oil-rich Central Asian state will occupy the chair in 2010 -- one year later than it had sought, OSCE Deputy Spokesperson Virginie Coulloudon told Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (REF/RL) in Madrid just after the two-day summit's final press conference Friday. The United States (US) reportedly gave its backing after securing a Kazakh "pledge" that... MORE
December 2, 2007

Media oppressor Kazakhstan to head body that values democratic norms

Kazakhstan will become the first ex-Soviet state to assume the chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev passes by the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony before his meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Laszlo Solyom, not seen, in Budapest, Hungary Friday, November 23, 2007. Nazarbayev arrived to Hungary Friday for a two-day long official visit to meet top Hungarian politicians. (AP Photo/Bela... MORE