EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

OSCE Chairmanship Kazakhstan Promised Human Rights Reforms

Posted by Info on 30/11/2010

The disappointing paradox is that Kazakhstan has been very active as OSCE chair but took few if any meaningful steps to improve its own human rights record.
In anticipation of its OSCE chairmanship Kazakhstan had promised human rights reforms, particularly in the area of media freedoms. But throughout its chairmanship year, the government maintained restrictive new amendments to media and Internet laws. It also has blocked a number of websites and weblogs, though the popular Russian-language blogging platform Livejournal was unblocked several weeks ago.

Independent journalists who criticize government policies and practices face threats and harassment. During Kazakhstan’s chairmanship year excessively harsh penalties for civil defamation were imposed on journalists. According to the media watchdog International Foundation of Speech Freedom Protection (Adil Soz), at least five journalists have been accused of criminal libel and five others were physically attacked by unknown persons. Proposals to decriminalize defamation have not advanced in the parliament.

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