Kazakhstan Muzzles Independent Press
Freedom House is deeply troubled by the February 24 ruling by a Kazakhstani court to shut down Pravdivaya Gazeta, an independent newspaper often critical of the government.
"Having already eliminated the country's opposition press through a 2012 ban on “extremism,” authorities are now using bureaucratic obstacles to silence even the smallest voices of dissent,” said Susan Corke, director of Eurasia programs at Freedom House. "The closing of Pravdivaya Gazeta is another setback for the press and freedom of speech.”
Authorities ordered Pravdivaya Gazerta closed because of highly technical violations of arbitrary standards set by the government. Since its first issue, published in April, the newspaper was suspended twice for three month periods and fined because of an illegible print run and the use of an incorrect date. Despite appeals by the newspaper, Kazakhstan’s courts consistently upheld the fines and suspensions.
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