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A Kazakh journalist strips naked for the truth

Written by on Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Kazakhstan, Media and Internet, Videoblog

Editor’s note: Guljan Yergaliyeva, former editor of Svoboda Slova, hard-hitting critic of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and human rights advocate imprisoned in 2006 for supporting Altynbek Sarsenbayev — is now stripping on YouTube, reports neweurasia’s Tomyris. “It has always felt claustrophobic wherever I’ve worked – radio, TV, press,” Yergaliyeva says. “The only thing left is the Internet.”

Bearing it all to tell the truth. Shedding layers to get to the surface. Holding back nothing so nothing can be held back. Western advocates for PETA (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals) strip down to spread the message that they’d rather go naked than wear animal fur – so, why can’t a Central Asian journalist in search for unembellished and undecorated media truths do the same?

Former editor of Svoboda Slova, hard-hitting critic of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and human rights advocate imprisoned in 2006 for supporting Altynbek Sarsenbayev – Guljan Yergaliyeva is now stripping on YouTube.


The sassy and sophisticated YouTube video “Yergaliyeva’s Naked Truth!” (“Голая Правда Ергалиевой!”), which was made to promote her new news website Gulijan.org, was released on June 3rd and has since been seen by almost 11,500 viewers.

The video begins with Yergaliyeva fed-up with a TV show that reports on the successes of Kazakh authorities. Yergaliyeva’s response: Everything is like 300 years ago. It has always felt claustrophobic wherever I’ve worked – radio, TV, press. The only thing left is the Internet.

Just before removing her shirt in the video – Yergaliyeva says it’s necessary to act, so let’s go to the web. Then a comment on being completely free – off comes her bra. Then a comment on accessible and complete truthfulness – off comes her skirt. Then a comment on stepping over barriers and looking into the eyes of truth – off comes the rest and away she walks in the nude.


Described as “no stranger to controversy” by Eurasianet.org, “her slick new website promises to liven up Kazakhstan’s media market.” And indeed it has – information consumers are both applauding her daring statement and downplaying her immoral approach.

The 20 “Likes” and 15 “Dislikes” on Guljan’s video’s YouTube page s>hows how it’s getting mixed reviews by almost 200 commenters spread across the web.

Comments opposing Yergaliyeva:

Агабек (Agabek), June 7, 22:14: “Dear Guljan! I saw an ad at Zona.kz yesterday — Yergalieva’s new project — it’s a shame !!! who let this to be broadcasted/shown??? you are not a prostitute, everybody knows who you are, tell Mizinov [ed: the editor of Zoka.kz] to take it away a.s.a.p.; and you have kids

московский казах (Kazakh from Moscow), June 8, 02:49: “Guljan’s true essence is in this video: she wants to look frank and honest, but instead she is a fake hysteric

Пофигист (Pofigist), June 7, 22:15: “What’s going to be next? Porn?

Comments supporting Yergaliyeva:

мик (mik), June 7, 09:11: “I’ve read comments and could figure out who’s who: 2% -horny, 2-5% are nationalists, 3% cowards, 2% of commenters want to wear hijjab. remaining part of them are normal and adequate citizens of their country who love freedom, respect other citizen’s opinion and like beautiful women (i explain for rednecks: it doesn’t matter how old a woman is she’s always beautiful, one just needs to see it.)

Not a Random user, June 7, 22:18: “Respect! Very tastefully done! I find the video very cool and extremely effective in attracting people’s attention! I hope the content of the site will deliver exactly what was promised by the video! Good luck!

Сарбасов Аслан (Sarbasov Aslan), June 8, 03:05: “Thank you for coming back, Guljan. Super. Thanks a lot. We need you like air.

Stay tuned to Gulijan.org to see if the site’s news stories are as racy and liberal as Yergaliyeva’s advertising anticipates – and if the good wishes of Gulijan’s supporters prevail.

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