Freedom of the Press

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

69

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

22

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

23

Though the constitution provides for freedom of the press, the government controls or otherwise influences most newspapers and printing, distribution, and broadcast transmission facilities. The president's eldest daughter controls several television companies, radio stations, and newspapers. The criminal code was amended in 1997 to make it a criminal offense to offend the president. The government has repeatedly harassed or shut down independent news media. Self-censorship is widespread. In April, the editor of the independent newspaper Soldat was sentenced to a year in prison for printing an article linking the president to corrupt business deals. All Internet service providers must route their lines through a state registration system, allowing the government to control the country's access to the Internet. Under cover of anti-terrorism activity, troops occupied the studios of an independent television station and temporarily halted broadcasts. The country's "tax police" have also been used to silence or intimidate the press.