Main opposition media silenced in space of a month

first_img Follow the news on Kazakhstan News RSF_en Organisation On the same issue, read our latest publication on “Zhanaozen: How a censored event was used as grounds for censorship”—-04.12.2012 – Opposition newspapers convicted before court rules on caseReporters Without Borders condemns the unprecedented pressure being put on the independent and opposition media in Kazakhstan. The two main opposition newspapers, Golos Respubliki and Vzglyad, were forced to halt publication a matter of days after the prosecutor-general’s office announced it had asked an Almaty court to ban a number of independent and opposition national news outlets, and before any ruling had been made on the substance of the case. “The Kazakh justice authorities have acted in contempt of all laws in an unwarranted display of cynicism,” the press freedom organization said. “The closure of the newspapers prior to a court verdict amounts to a de facto conviction, yet they have not been given a chance to defend themselves.“Such a move, the first time it has been done in Kazakhstan, stems from a distortion of the law that is all the more shocking since the laws themselves are tailor-made by Parliament. From the outset, the proceedings have been marked by so many irregularities and inconsistencies that the fairness of the decision is highly questionable.“The immediate seizure of all reprints from the banned newspapers and raids on their premises rounded off an organized campaign to stifle critical voices in Kazakhstan. News Kazakh reporter accuses police of attacking her “As the personality cult around President Nursultan Nazarbayev grows apace, we renew our appeal to the international community to make clear to the government in Astana that such abuses are unacceptable. The rapid turn of events in recent weeks is a demonstration, if one were needed, that urgent action is required. Civil society in Kazakhstan needs support more than ever.” Instant censorship The prosecutor-general’s office announced on 21 November that it had asked an Almaty court to recognize the “extremist” nature of the two main opposition parties and the main independent and opposition media organizations in the country. On the same day, the court ordered the precautionary suspension of the newspaper Golos Respubliki. On 27 November, Vzglyad was told the same thing. The two newspapers were ordered to halt all printing and distribution. They announced they would turn themselves into online outlets, despite the fact that their websites and social network accounts were included in the prosecutor-general’s order. Harassment of banned newspapers and those reprinting their stories On November 28, representatives of the department for executing court decisions carried out a violent raid on the premises of the two newspapers. The lawyer for Golos Respubliki, Sergei Utkin, reported that he was pushed violently by bailiffs who entered the editorial offices. According to the editor of Vzglyad, Igor Vinyavsky, who was jailed for nearly two months early this year, the bailiffs forced open the door and threatened staff, ordering them to hand over the latest edition of the newspaper. The court officials also tried to seize a collection of stories with a print run of 99 copies, published under the title Ne Vzglyad (“This is not Vzglyad”). Under Kazakh law, a publication that prints fewer than 100 copies does not need to register with the authorities. However, most copies of Ne Vzglyad were seized by the police when they went on sale in the street.Similarly, the 30 November edition of the opposition newspaper Azat, which reprinted some stories from Golos Respubliki, was withdrawn from sale. Justice denied The preliminary hearings, on 27 November for Golos Respubliki and 30 November for Vzglyad, were a public spectacle of a justice system that is prepared to resort to any irregularities to force through the bans on the two newspapers. The court did not acknowledge the fact that the trial was based on the conviction of a third person (Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the Alga party), or the fact that the prosecution grouped eight titles together under the generic name Respublika, or the fact that a media organization is not a legal entity under Kazakh law. A request by defence lawyers to subpoena the owners of the newspapers, not the titles themselves, was rejected. The Golos Respubliki trial is due to resume on 6 December and the Vzglyad case on 14 December. The persecution of the independent media and the bias of the justice system are just a few signs of the ultra-authoritarian morass into which Kazakhstan is sinking. With great fanfare, the country celebrated a new festival on 1 December: First President’s Day. Nursultan Nazarbayev, a predator of freedom of information who has been in power since Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, was hailed throughout the country with cries of “One country! One destiny! One leader!”——-You can read Respublika, Vzglyad and Ne Vzglyad on Facebook.——-(Picture: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev – credit Viktor Drachev / AFP) January 15, 2021 Find out more Reporters prevented from covering Kazakh parliamentary elections Kazakhstan’s leading opposition media have all been banned as “extremist” in the past month in response to a request by the prosecutor-general’s office (see below).“This unprecedented blow to pluralism is the result of an outrageous misuse of the Kazakh justice system,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Reduced to a tool of repression, the courts no longer even try to maintain appearances, flouting defence rights, holding summary hearings and violating procedure.“President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s administration is in the process of completing its transformation into an extremely authoritarian regime. This calls for a strong response from the international community.”To help circumvent this censorship Reporters Without Borders has created mirror sites for each of the following banned media and urges as many people as possible to create similar mirror sites:- Respublika: Download the site archive- Vzglyad: Download the site archive- Stan TV: Download the site archive- K+: Download the site archive Leading opposition media banned A court in the business capital of Almaty issued an order on 25 December banning the eight different versions that the newspaper Respublika had been forced to create over time to avoid the consequences of legal proceedings. They included Golos Respubliki (Voice of the Republic), Respublika-Delovoye Obozrenye (Republic-Business Magazine) and Vsya Respublika (Entire Republic).The prohibition also applied to the 23 websites and online social network accounts that carried these newspapers’ content.The order was the latest in a series of prohibitions on national opposition media issued in recent weeks. The Stan TV news website was banned in Kazakhstan by an Almaty court on 4 December. The satellite TV station K+ was banned on 6 December and the newspaper Vzglyad was banned on 20 December. All of these media have said they will appeal. The bans were issued in the course of sham legal proceedings in which the prosecution did not even try to produce any evidence of the “extremist” nature of these media. The judicial authorities claim that this was demonstrated during the trial of Vladimir Kozlov, the head of the opposition party Alga, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on appeal in November. But, paradoxically, none of these media was ever invited to take part in this trial.In another arbitrary decision, a court ruled that all of the newspapers containing the word “Respublika” constituted a single news outlet although each of the newspapers is in fact legally distinct, with different owners and managements. Kafkaesque ploy After another opposition news website,, was suspended for three months on 5 December, its editor, Guljan Yergaliyeva, tried to launch a newspaper called ADAM Reader’s instead but was blocked by the culture and information ministry’s Kafkaesque manoeuvring.On 20 December, on the eve of the printing of the first issue, Yergaliyeva was told that her new publication had been “cancelled” because she had forgotten to cancel the licence of the newspaper she had published under the same name from 2009 to 2022, In fact, under Kazakh law, the licence would have lapsed automatically after three months without an issue being published. KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia center_img to go further February 5, 2021 Find out more December 28, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Main opposition media silenced in space of a month Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Regional newspaper editor harassed after investigating real estate scandal News News KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia October 30, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Authorities harass Radio Liberty correspondent

first_img Organisation #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries Reporters Without Borders today called on the authorities of Turkmenistan to stop their alarming harassment of Saparmurat Ovezberdiev, the correspondent in Ashgabat of the Turkmen-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, who has been tailed, beaten, drugged and illegally detained by police in the course of the past few months.The organisation wrote to Turkmen President Saparmurat Nyazov urging him to do everything possible to ensure that Ovezberdiev is allowed to work freely as a journalist, without fear of physical or bureaucratic reprisals.”As a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Turkmenistan has undertaken to respect press freedom, but it is the country in Europe where journalists have the most intolerable conditions of work,” the letter said.On 14 November, Ovezberdiev was forcibly taken by two men who were probably secret service agents to a cemetery in Ashgabat where he was brutally beaten, threatened and then dumped on the side of a road. The two men said: “We’ve had enough of you, we’re going to get rid of you.” Ovezberdiev sustained head injuries in this incident.Previously, on 11 September, Ovezberdiev was arrested by officers of the national security ministry and was detained for three days. They drugged him, manhandled him and threatened to imprison him for 20 years as a traitor. Ovezberdiev is in charge of two programmes, “Vox Pop” and “Open Microphone.” In the second, listeners have a opportunity to speak out when their rights are violated and to get in touch with legal experts and human rights organisations abroad. Representatives of the national security ministry have several times called for an end to these programmes. News RSF_en Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan March 31, 2020 Find out more to go further TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia center_img December 18, 2020 Find out more Four-year jail term for independent website’s correspondent in Turkmenistan Receive email alerts News News Follow the news on Turkmenistan News November 26, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities harass Radio Liberty correspondent March 13, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Bob Weir Just Soundchecked With Phish In Nashville

first_imgUpdate 11:58 PM ET: Phish just welcomed Bob Weir out for six full songs in Nashville. Full details and Periscope video here.It’s been 16 years since Bob Weir and Phish played together, but it seems that is changing tonight!Weir has been on his “Campfire Tour,” and is scheduled to perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN tomorrow night. Meanwhile, Phish is kicking off a two-night run at the Ascend Amphitheatre in Nashville, TN tonight. With both artists in town tonight, fans have been hoping for some sort of collaboration tonight during Weir’s off night. It seems that’s in the cards.According to many reports, Bob Weir was playing with Phish during their soundcheck. Check out this video, which clearly features audio of Phish with Weir accompanying in vocals. The video features a extended jam rendition of “Walkin’ Blues,” a blues standard that Weir has been singing for years.Here’s another shorter version, just in case the FB video gets taken down.Fans who are in the Nashville area have also been confirming the news with reports of the soundcheck.Bob weir sound checking with #Phish #NashvilleGet on my level!!!!!! ????— PhishAllDay (@TNTroutBumTN) October 18, 2016 [Photo via Chad Anderson from Dead & Company in Hartford]last_img read more

Lewis House of Pancakes strengthens dorm community

first_imgFor a $5 fee starting Friday at 9:30 p.m., Lewis Hall will host their annual charity event, the Lewis House of Pancakes (LHOP), providing an all-you-can eat breakfast buffet with different foods on every floor. The residents serve not only pancakes, but bacon, eggs, juice and cinnamon rolls as well.All proceeds from LHOP go to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, an organization that serves the South Bend community. According to the Food Bank’s website, they donated seven million pounds of food to local agencies in 2016 alone. Lewis’ involvement with the Food Bank doesn’t stop with LHOP.“It’s for a really good cause,” sophomore Amanda Bono, one of the LHOP chairs, said. “Last year, we had a group of girls volunteer there afterwards, to see what the Food Bank was like, and we’re going to try to do that again.”Bono and her fellow organizer, sophomore Sarah Duehren, estimated that about 1,000 people attended last year’s LHOP, and Duehren said they’ve set a goal to beat that number tonight.“It’s open to the public, but it’s mostly students that come,” Duehren said. “We’re hoping to exceed that number this year.”The residents of Lewis Hall are very passionate about this event, Bono said, which they believe builds dorm spirit.“The girls honestly love it,” she said. “The reason that I wanted to help run it this year was because I had such a great time last year.”Freshman Rachel Duffy expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming event, which will be her first LHOP. “I’m really excited that we’re going to get a lot of people to come out and beat last year’s record, and raise money for charity,” Duffy said.Duehren remarked that the participation and interest around LHOP represents a bigger part of Lewis Hall.“It goes to show how strong the community is, because everybody’s so excited to be a part of it,” Duehren said.Lewis is located northwest of the Main Building, near Saint Joseph’s Lake. The residents of Lewis highly encourage everyone to come with their friends and donate to a worthy cause.“If you’re on the fence about coming, I think that if you’re a person who appreciates breakfast food — and who appreciates charity, who appreciates community — then this is the place for you,” Duffy said.Duehren added that LHOP doesn’t have to be a night-long commitment.“I hope everyone can come out, and even if you’re there for five minutes, it’s worth coming out and seeing,” she said. “And it’s for a really good cause.”Tags: Breakfast, lewis hall, LHOP, signature eventlast_img read more