Category : Kazakhstan

Index urges Russian government to halt deportation of Uzbek journalist

alt informationJournalist Khudoberdi Nurmatov, who works for independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, is set to be deported back to Uzbekistan, where it is feared he will be tortured.

Kazakhstan must halt assault on press freedom

The injunction banning distribution and publication of ADAMbol, a popular opposition magazine in Kazakhstan, is a clear violation of freedom of press and free expression. The magazine has been accused of engaging in “extremist war propaganda” by Almaty City’s Department for Internal Policies. Some activists believe the magazine has been targeted over its coverage of […]

Five artists attacked for their work in 2013

It is not uncommon across the world for performers to be attacked as a form of censorship, ultimately silencing what they are trying to say

The price of dissent in Kazakhstan

In recent weeks, Kazakh authorities closed down almost all independent media, and gave prosecutors new, wider legal powers against free speech. Protests against these latest attacks must go hand-in-hand with the defence of prisoners of conscience such as the poet and writer Aron Atabek, say his family and friends. They warn that Atabek’s latest sentence — […]

Kazakhstan crackdown set to continue

Kazakh prosecutors last month achieved international notoriety, as they sought to close eight newspapers and 23 web sites, and sued Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal. Journalists in the country fear that this latest crackdown will destroy the limited amount of pluralism that still exists there. On 4 December, a Kazakh court banned the online news […]

A tragedy foretold: Norway condemns Uzbek activist to jail and torture

“I will be arrested the minute I land in Uzbekistan and then thrown in prison,” an Uzbek human rights activist tells me, “and what happens with me afterwards is a good question.” For his family’s safety, I cannot tell you the name of the young man. Let’s call him Rustam, a common name in Uzbekistan. “I only […]

Kazakhstan: Labour rights lawyer Natalia Sokolova released, but with restrictions

A union lawyer freed from prison by authorities in Kazakhstan on 7 March has been banned from resuming her activism. Natalia Sokolova was found guilty of “inciting social discord” and “actively participating in illegal gatherings” after speaking out on issues such as wage disparity and defended oil workers’ rights. On 6 March, Sokolova’s six year prison sentence was […]

Kazakhstan: newspaper editor detained in media crackdown

Igor Vinyavsky, editor of the Almaty-based independent weekly Vzglyad, was detained on Monday evening in an ongoing crackdown by Kazakhstan‘s National Security Committee (KNB) on critical media and opposition activists. Two groups of KNB agents simultaneously raided Vinyavsky’s apartment and Vzglyad’s offices, confiscating all reporting equipment. Vinyavsky was detained following the newsroom raid. The crackdown has […]

Kazakhstan: Reporter, activist to be sued for libel

A rights activist and RFE/RL correspondent in Kazakhstan is being sued for libel after she alleged children at a special needs school were being abused. In an article published in a local newspaper in May, Alima Abdirova said children at the boarding school in the western city of Aqtobe were subject to beatings and neglect. Abdirova is […]

Kazakhstan: Imprisoned journalist’s parole request rejected

Imprisoned journalist Ramazan Esergepov’s request for release on parole was rejected for the fourth time yesterday by an appeal commission in Taraz prison, southern Kazakhstan, although under Kazakh law a prisoner can be freed conditionally after serving a third of their sentence. The former owner and editor of the weekly Alma-Ata Info, he was sentenced […]

Free Microsoft licences to help combat censorship

Microsoft is extending its program of giving free software licences to non-profit organisations. The initiative was first applied to Russia, after it was discovered that authorities were using software piracy inquiries as a method of suppressing independent media outlets and advocacy groups. The program will now include 500,000 NGOs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, […]

Kazakhstan: Web browser which bypasses censorship proves popular

Opera has become Kazakhstan‘s most popular web browser in the country, because it allows users to bypass internet censorship. According to Web Analytics firm StatCounter, the browser increased its market share to 32 per cent in March. Last year, Kazakhstan introduced a law allowing local courts to block access to web sites whose content has been […]