Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Kazakhstan: Authorities seek closure of independent, critical media

Posted by Info on 06/05/2013

Prosecuting authorities are seeking to close down independent media outlets Respublika and Vzglyad, the satellite TV station K+, the news portal, and all websites linked to these outlets as they are critical of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s government. The prosecutor links the independent media to what it calls the “extremism” of the two main opposition parties, Alga and Khalyk Maydany, and accuses the outlets of “extremist propaganda”.In August 2011, a similar charge of “extremism” was used to block access to LiveJournal, a popular blog platform.

Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the world’s longest-serving presidents, a man who has driven opponents into exile and who  won his elections with more than 90% of the vote. International monitors have sharply criticised Kazakhstan‘s presidential election, citing numerous cases of ballot-box stuffing, voter intimidation and a lack of transparency.

Human rights in Kazakhstan

European Parliament debated and adopted by a large majority the resolution on 18.4.2013 , calling to protect human rights in Kazakhstan. Parliament strongly criticised the court decision to ban opposition parties, including the unregistered ´Alga!` party, as well as independent media actors. It also called for restrictions on the registration and practice of religion to be eased and for workers rights to form independent labour unions to be upheld.

The House reiterated its concern at the detention of opposition leaders, journalists and lawyers on the basis of trials which fall short of international standards and called again for the release of persons convicted on the basis of vague criminal charges, which could be considered to be politically motivated, including Vladimir Kozlov and Vadim Kurashim. MEPs also stressed that Aliya Turusbekova cannot be held responsible for the actions of third persons.

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