CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Kazakhstan

Blog   |   Kazakhstan

Under official pressure, Kazakh broadcaster closes

In this YouTube screenshot, supporters of independent media demonstrate at the press conference where owners of Stan.kz announced its shutdown. (YouTube/Respublika Kz)

A blocked website; reporting equipment confiscated; a newsroom sealed; and reporters denied information from state agencies: these things together spelled the end of Stan.kz, a local, independent Internet-based broadcaster which for two years had tirelessly reported on developments in Kazakhstan. "We are forced to shut down the Stan.kz newsroom," Bauyrzhan Musirov, owner of parent Stan Production Company, said at a press conference Wednesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan's main city. 

Blog   |   Kazakhstan

Journalist as a threat to Kazakhstan's national security

Police stand guard outside a court where defendants accused of participating in December's deadly clashes in Zhanaozen are on trial in the Caspian port city of Aktau March 28. (Reuters/Vladimir Tretyakov)

In a reply to CPJ's protest letter regarding the politicized imprisonment of journalist Igor Vinyavsky, Kazakhstan's General Prosecutor's Office said the prosecution wasn't retaliatory nor related to his journalism. CPJ publicly appealed to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev after his country's security service, the KNB, raided Vinyavsky's newsroom and apartment, confiscated reporting equipment, and imprisoned the journalist for two months. The KNB also harassed and interrogated Vinyavsky's family and local journalists who protested against his incarceration.

April 27, 2012 11:55 AM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   CPJ, Internet, Kazakhstan, Syria

When a bug fix can save a journalist's life

One of the most exciting aspects of working on Internet technologies is how quickly the tools you build can spread to millions of users worldwide. It's a heady experience, one that has occurred time and again here in Silicon Valley. But there's also responsibility that attaches to that excitement. For every hundred thousand cases in which a tool improves someone's day, there is another case in which it's used in a life-or-death situation. And for online journalists working on high-risk material, or in high-risk places, that life may be their own or that of a source. That's why CPJ, together with Alexey Tikhonov from Kazakhstan's Respublika, Esra'a al-Shafei from the pan-Arab forum MidEast Youth, and activist Rami Nakhle from Syria, spent this week visiting and meeting with technologists, entrepreneurs, and thinkers in Silicon Valley.

Blog   |   China, Kazakhstan

Uighur refugee extradited by Kazakhstan, held in China

Chinese police patrol Urumqi following ethic violence in July 2009. (Reuters)

Kazakhstan authorities have extradited Uighur schoolteacher Arshidin Israil to China, where officials have described him without elaboration as a "major terror suspect," according to Reuters and other news accounts. Israil and his supporters believe the detention comes in reprisal for reporting he contributed to Radio Free Asia concerning the July 2009 riots in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Israil, a native of Xinjiang, fled China after the unrest but was detained in Kazakhstan in June 2010, according to news reports. He was extradited on May 30 of this year, days after Chinese authorities censored reporting and restricted online discussion about ethnic unrest in Inner Mongolia--an autonomous ethnic region like Xinjiang.

Blog   |   Burma, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia, Sweden, Tunisia

Protecting yourself from denial-of-service attacks

It's my second link to a report by Hal Roberts (and others at the Berkman Center) in as many days, but I worry that this this detailed document on denial-of-service (DOS) and hacking attacks on independent media and human rights groups might get missed in the holiday season.

The news headlines in the last few weeks have been full of stories of how DOS attacks can bring down even high-profile websites, often with relatively little technical expertise on behalf of the attackers. Such attacks are nothing new to online journalists across the world, however. Just this year, CPJ has dealt with cases of independent news sites being taken offline by remote Internet attacks in China, Burma, Vietnam, Russia, Kazakhstan, and now Belarus.

The Berkman Center's report details over three hundred other cases from 1998 onwards, from Sweden to North Korea. More important, the researchers interviewed the victims of these attacks, and categorized what defenses were practical and effective -- and what did not work.

If you're an online journalist with powerful opponents, I'd strongly encourage you to read this document and pass it along to your tech-savvy associates. Even a small amount of preparation can help keep vital news and opinion available online when you -- and your readers -- most need it.

December 21, 2010 3:31 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Fighting bogus piracy raids, Microsoft issues new licenses

CPJ has documented for several years the use of spurious anti-piracy raids to shut down and intimidate media organizations in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Offices have been shut down, and computers seized. Often, security agents make bogus claims to be representing or acting on behalf of the U.S. software company Microsoft.

December 7, 2010 3:10 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Kazakhstan

A top Kazakhstan diplomat pledges press reforms

CPJ's Ognianova, center, leads a briefing Tuesday in Vienna. With her are, left, Anthony Mills of the International Press Institute and CPJ's Jean-Paul Marthoz. (CPJ)

Kazakhstan is ready to bring its press laws in line with international standards, a top diplomat told a CPJ delegation in Vienna this week. Decriminalizing libel, placing caps on defamation awards, and enacting access-to-information legislation are on the government's agenda, said Kazakhstan Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov, who is chairman of the permanent council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Blog   |   Kazakhstan

Denied access, CPJ manages to interview Kazakh prisoner

CPJ was turned away from visiting journalist Ramazan Yesergepov in this prison colony in Taraz, Kazakhstan. (Nina Ognianova/CPJ)On June 3, I took a six-hour-long drive from Almaty to Taraz with local press freedom advocate Rozlana Taukina and two family members of imprisoned editor Ramazan Yesergepov to visit him. Yesergepov has been a long-term case for CPJ. In November 2008, he published two internal Kazakh security service (KNB) memos in his now-defunct newspaper, Alma-Ata Info, which attested to the KNB’s attempts to influence a prosecutor and a judge in a criminal tax evasion case.
June 21, 2010 12:40 PM ET

Tags:

Blog   |   Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan

CPJ testimony: Threats to free media in the OSCE region

Kazakhstan, the current chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, has failed to live up to its press freedom commitments, CPJ’s Muzaffar Suleymanov told the Congressional Helsinki Commission in Washington today.

Blog   |   Belarus, Kazakhstan

In bad company: Kazakhstan takes page from Belarus

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, left, and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at a November economic conference. (AP/Sergei Grits)

Belarus has been termed Europe’s last dictatorship because of its long intolerance of dissent and press freedom. So accustomed is the world to the clampdowns of President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s regime that neither a recently issued decree on Internet access, which requires that providers record users’ personal data, nor last week’s police raids at a number of independent news offices, came as much of a surprise to anyone. “Belarus—reliably repressive” would be the country’s bumper sticker were press freedom groups to make one.

Social Media

View all »