Kazakhstan / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Kazakhstan since 1992

  
Police officers detain an opposition supporter as journalists take pictures during a protest against presidential election results in Almaty, Kazakhstan, June 10, 2019. The blocking of news websites during the leadership transition suggests that recent moves to control the internet are about censorship, not security. (Reuters/Pavel Mikheyev)

Kazakhstan’s move to control internet prompts censorship, surveillance concerns

A state-controlled internet service provider in Kazakhstan is requiring at least some of its subscribers to submit to having their internet traffic intercepted when they use specific websites–including social media sites, email and messaging services, and Google News, according to research published this week by Censored Planet, a project at the University of Michigan.

Read More ›

The front page of a March 20 newspaper shows President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned the previous day. Kazakhstan's press was restricted and censored under his long rule. (Reuters/Pavel Mikheyev)

Nazarbayev’s long rule leaves toxic legacy for Kazakhstan’s media

In 2011, I observed an astonishing spectacle in the Respublika newspaper offices in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s financial capital. Journalists were putting a modern-day twist on samizdat, a practice in the Soviet Union whereby dissidents laboriously copied illicit material to circumvent censorship.

Read More ›

A Kazakh soldier stands in front of the national flag at the presidential palace in Astana, in 2014. CPJ is joining calls for the country to revise its repressive press laws. (AFP/Alain Jocard)

CPJ joins calls for Kazakhstan to revise false news law and drop charges against critical media

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a coalition of 25 other international press freedom organizations to call on Kazakh authorities to drop criminal defamation cases against media outlets Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel and revise the law on dissemination of “false information” often used to silence critical media outlets and journalists.

Read More ›

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

Under official pressure, Kazakh broadcaster closes

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…

Read More ›

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)

Journalist as a threat to Kazakhstan’s national security

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…

Read More ›

CPJ

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…

Read More ›

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

Uighur refugee extradited by Kazakhstan, held in China

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…

Read More ›

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…

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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)

A top Kazakhstan diplomat pledges press reforms

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…

Read More ›