Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Kazakhstan15 October 2008

Region’s most popular blog service blocked because of former ambassador’s blog

читать на русском

(PNG) Kazakhstan’s two main ISPs, KazakhTelecom and NurSat, have been blocking access to the popular blog service LiveJournal since 10 October without explaining why, Reporters Without Borders said today. The reason seems to be a LiveJournal blog by the president’s former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliev (http://rakhataliev.livejournal.com), that criticises the government.

“The ISPs must either restore access to the LiveJournal service or refer the problems posed by the offending blog to the courts,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Blocking the entire blog service is every negative for Internet usage in a country where there are already very few Internet users.”

The former son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Aliev is one of the most controversial figures in Kazakhstan, which has requested his extradition from Austria. Associates of Aliev created the blog in June, and since then he has been using it to post entries with details of the past such as transcripts of telephone conversations that are compromising for some of the country’s politicians.

(JPEG)
Rakhat Aliev (©upload.wikimedia.org)

Appointed Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Austria in January 2007, Aliev was fired six months later by Nazarbayev but he remained in Austria. The Kazakh authorities then issued a warrant for his arrest for the abduction of two senior bank officials in January 2007 in Kazakhstan and requested his extradition.

Only 2.7 per cent of the Kazakh population has an Internet connection. ISPs are required since 2004 to have a licence issued by the Agency for Information and Communication, which controls new technology development in Kazakhstan. One of the conditions for getting a licence is to use at least part of the network of KazakhTelecom, which is entirely state-controlled.

Reporters Without Borders added: “This blocking also affects Kyrgyzstan, which depends on the Kazakh Internet. This is a deliberate act of censorship that is intended to have a dissuasive effect.”

Kyrgyzstan has one of Central Asia’s high levels of Internet penetration (5 per cent) but most of its ISPs depend on the Kazakh, Chinese and Russian Internets.




  In this country
2 March - Kazakhstan
Independent newspaper faces closure after astronomical fine for “defamation”
21 January - Kazakhstan
RFE/RL website editor beaten unconscious in Almaty
7 January - Kazakhstan
Masked security men arrest hospitalised newspaper editor on charge of divulging confidential information
3 December - Kazakhstan
Intelligence agency pressures newspaper editor to reveal source of leak
27 May - Kazakhstan
Letter to Information and Culture minister about blocking of Radio Free Europe website

in the annual report
Kazakhstan - Annual Report 2008
Kazakhstan - Annual report 2007
Kazakhstan - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

Reports
5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison
archives

Sign the petitions
Uzbekistan
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives