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Veto of Restrictive Kazakh Media Bill Welcomed - U.S. Department of State

Boucher expresses hope for the future of free media in Kazakhstan

The United States welcomed Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's veto of a proposed mass media law after Kazakhstan's Constitutional Council ruled it unconstitutional.
State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher noted that the proposed bill had been criticized as "highly restrictive of the rights of a free media."
Following is his statement of April 22:

Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release

April 22, 2004

Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman

Veto of Kazakhstan Media Bill

The United States welcomes President Nazarbayev's statement on April 22 that the proposed law on mass media passed by the Parliament will not be enacted. The law had been heavily criticized, both in Kazakhstan and internationally, as highly restrictive of the rights of a free media.

President Nazarbayev rejected this law after it was found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council. The United States hopes this is a signal of a broad opening for free media to play their essential role in the development of democracy in Kazakhstan, including during the upcoming 2004 elections for Parliament.

April 26, 2004. Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

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