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Address of journalists of the TRC "Irbis"

Dear deputies of the parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan!

In the Constitution of our country, Kazakhstan announces itself a democratic state, which guarantees freedom of speech, and that its highest values are human, his life, rights and freedoms.

The basis for development of democracy in the country is presence of independent mass media and creation of favorable conditions for their activity.

However, in practice everything is different. Our state adopts laws and subordinate legislative acts that not only hinder development of free press, but also lead to closing of already existing newspapers and television companies.

Lately executive authorities, especially in regions, have been dictating conditions for mass media work, factually introducing censorship in their activity, restricting independent journalists in receipt of information. Law-enforcement bodies often exceed their authorities in regard to newspapers and television companies, put pressure upon their work.

Striking example of this is situation in Pavlodar region. The community of Pavlodar is deeply outraged by actions of authority bodies in regard to independent television and radio station “Irbis”.

For the last three months a series of lawsuits with the total amount of more than twenty million tenge fell upon the television and radio station “Irbis”. Work of the television company is hampered by numerous inspections of various agencies, while journalists are subjected to pressure and threats from the direction of power structures. The last judicial decision on suspending broadcasting of programs of the television and radio company “Irbis” is an obvious example of violation of rights of freedom of speech in our region. The true goal of all these measures is to close disagreeable for authorities mass media outlets.

We, journalists of the television and radio company “Irbis”, citizens of independent Kazakhstan, appeal to you, elected representative of the people, with call to look into the situation around freedom of speech in Pavlodar region and in Kazakhstan as a whole. We demand to bring to account guilty in persecution of the television and radio company “Irbis” and independent journalists.

If we do not stop arbitrariness and mass violation of human rights, then tomorrow the country will find itself entirely under the influence of dictatorship of authorities!

Journalists of the TRC “Irbis”

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