Kazakhstan / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Kazakhstan since 1992

  

Kazakhstan decriminalizes defamation, but maintains detentions, criminal penalties for speech offenses

New York, July 8, 2020 — Kazakhstan authorities should deepen their reforms on laws affecting the press and ensure that journalists are never jailed for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 27, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed into law amendments to the country’s criminal and administrative codes that decriminalized defamation, according…

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Police officers are seen in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on June 10, 2019. Kazakh journalist Amangeldy Batyrbekov was recently jailed on criminal libel charges. (AFP/Vyacheslav Oseledko)

Kazakh journalist Amangeldy Batyrbekov jailed on criminal libel charges

New York, October 18, 2019 – Kazakhstan authorities should immediately release journalist Amangeldy Batyrbekov, drop all charges against him, and allow him to work freely and safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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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.

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Police officers are seen in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on June 12, 2019. A group of journalists were recently attacked at a press conference in Almaty. (Reuters/Pavel Mikheyev)

Demonstrators attack reporters, damage equipment at press conference in Kazakhstan

Washington, D.C., July 25, 2019 — Kazakhstan authorities should immediately investigate the attack on journalists at a press conference in Almaty and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Kazakh police block an area to prevent protests against presidential elections in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan, on June 10, 2019. Local internet users are being asked to download a security certificate that could allow the authorities to monitor or censor encrypted websites. (AP Photo/Alexei Filippov)

Kazakhstan government-backed security certificate raises censorship, surveillance concerns

New York, July 22, 2019 — Telecommunications providers in Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, have requested internet users to install a security certificate issued by government authorities onto their personal devices, which could compromise their digital security, according to a report by the BBC and Adil Nurmakov, a political scientist and digital media expert based in Nur-Sultan,…

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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.

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A police officer in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on July 18, 2016. Journalist Saniya Toiken was recently arrested and fined after covering protests in the Kazakh city of Zhanaozen. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

Kazakhstan journalist fined after covering protests

New York, March 14, 2019 — Kazakhstan authorities should not contest journalist Saniya Toiken’s appeal of a fine imposed in response to her coverage of protests, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Kazakh Interior Ministry troops patrol beneath a poster of President Nursultan Nazarbayev and partially burnt buildings in Zhanaozen, in December 2011, that were damaged in riots. Kazakh police detained a French journalists today while he interviewed witnesses to the 2011 violence. (Reuters/Vladimir Tretyakov)

Kazakhstan detains French journalist and bans him from filming

New York, September 27, 2018–Kazakh authorities should allow French journalist Vincent Prado and his local fixer Danara Ismetova to work without obstruction, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Prado and Ismetova were briefly detained by police this morning, before a judge fined Prado and banned the journalist from filming in the Manghystau region of Kazakhstan,…

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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.

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Passengers wait at a bus stop in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in early 2018. Kazakh authorities raided two news outlets and confiscated equipment in April. (Retuers/Shamil Zhumatov)

Kazakhstan police raid newsrooms, detain journalists, seize equipment

New York, April 13, 2018–Kazakh authorities should stop harassing journalists with the independent news outlets Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel and dismiss criminal defamation suits against the two outlets and their journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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