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Media Protest

Written by on Thursday, 25 June 2009
Kazakhstan, Media and Internet

Translation of Arman’s post

Yesterday, June 24, journalists of independent newspapers, media organizations and politicians from the “Azat” party held a silent actions of protest in the downtown of Almaty. They put on scarves on their mouths in a symbolic demand of more freedom of speech. The action went peacefully, but nearly a hundred of police officers were watching it.

The day before the protest, the initiative group disseminaed the statement concerning crackdown on media freedom in Kazakhstan, which listed the cases of persecution of the media outlets:

The 30 million tenge suit has actually led to shutdown of “Tasjargan” newspaper. A new criminal case has been brought against the newspaper’s founder Ermurat Bapi.
Overall charges against “Vremya” newspaper have already exceeded the worth of 1,150 billion tenge. “Svoboda slova” newspaper is currently facing three suits.
A closed trial of the National Security Committee against R. Esergepov, chief editor of “Alma-Ata Info” newspaper is on the way in Taraz. “ART” TV channel has been shut down for the SMS that was sent to the live broadcast by a viewer in Karaganda.
Independent Internet-newspaper “Zona.kz” is still suffering from DDoS attacks. Web-site of “Zhas Alash” newspaper is blocked.
The draft law on regulation of information and communication networks introduces censorship in the Internet and a ban on critical coverage of political protests and inter-ethnic relations for all media.

The majot opposition party “Azat” has filed an application for the rally in support of independent mass media twice – for June 20 and 27. However, the city administration turned them down under the pretext that «a rally would hinder normal functioning of public transportation”. Thus, for the first time in history of Kazakhstan, the public is not allowed to stage a rally in the honor of the professional holiday, the Day of Journalism.

Apart from calling on the journalists and readers to take part in the unsanctioned protest, the signatories – editors, journalists and rights activists – urged all printed media of Kazakhstan to demonstrate journalistic solidarity and to render part of their pages for publication of the materials of independent newspaper “Tasjargan”, which was shut down following a libel suit.

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  • [...] Arman reports on a silent action of protest in the downtown of Almaty, Kazakhstan, in which journalists of independent newspapers, media organizations and opposition politicians put on scarves on their mouths in a symbolic demand of more freedom of speech. Cancel this reply [...]

  • [...] June 29, 2009 · Leave a Comment Kazakhstan is known for being ‘not free’ according to reports of Reporters sans frontiers and the FreedomHouse. But protests continue. Last week for example journalists held a silent protest in Almaty, former capital of Kazakhstan. More details on the redesigned Neweurasianet. [...]

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