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Kazakhstan: Authorities Arrest Editor of Last Independent Newspaper
In response to the government of Kazakhstan arresting Zhanbolat Mamay, editor of the newspaper Tribuna, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The government's arrest of Zhanbolat Mamay is an attempt to silence the country's last remaining independent newspaper," said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs. “The government has systematically undermined all dissenting voices, including virtually all independent media."
Mamay was arrested February 10 on charges of using his position at the Tribuna newspaper to launder money allegedly embezzled from BTA Bank by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a business tycoon wanted by Russia and Kazakhstan on charges of embezzling billions of dollars. Tribuna is one of the last news publications in Kazakhstan not receiving government grants.
Kazakhstan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2016, and receives a democracy score of 6.61, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2016.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.