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Address of Internews Kazakhstan

Internews Kazakhstan expresses serious concern regarding numerous incidents restricting the freedom of activity of independent, private mass media in Kazakhstan.

On March 4, 2002 the government of Kazakhstan rendered a decision suspending all broadcasting rights for the television company "TAN" in Almaty city for six months. The license of the television channel "TAN" has been suspended on the basis of various violations, such as wrongly tuned transmitter, incorrect registration of transmitter, violation of sanitary conditions, etc. The temporary closing order of the station was signed by the head of a committee within the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

As early as February, the Kazakh government recalled broadcasting licenses for violations of the language law and mass media law in such towns as Pavlodar, Stepnogorsk, Makinsk and Temirtau (Irbis, STS, Alfa, Channel 43, Channel 29, and TKT).

In each individual case, authorities use various arguments and accuse broadcasters of violating Kazakh legislation. However, journalists and owners of closed stations, media experts, and oppositional figures of the country, claim in their speeches that in reality a campaign of political persecution on media, which to some extent report on democratic opposition in their information programs, was launched in the country. In addition, decisions of various bodies are being officially used for closing stations, including judicial bodies.

From the beginning of the year, newspapers containing critical articles regarding the government, have had serious problems. Publishing houses under the control of the authorities refuse to print newspapers "Respublika -delovoye obozreniye", "Vremya po - The Globe", "SolDat".

Journalists of several television companies, closed by the government, urge the public, parliament of the country, international and media organizations to protect them from the pressure of the authorities.

Oleg Katsiev
Managing Director
Internews Kazakhstan
E-mail: oleg@internews.kz

Tel: (+ 7 327 2) 508950
Fax: (+ 7 327 2) 508959
58 Nauryzbay Batyr Street, 1st Fl.
Almaty 480091, Kazakhstan

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