Shutdown of independent magazine in Kazakhstan further endangers media pluralism, says OSCE Representative
VIENNA, 26 November 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said that a court injunction forcing the shutdown of the weekly magazine ADAMbol in Kazakhstan poses a threat to free media in the country.
On 20 November the Almaty district court handed down an injunction to stop the distribution and publication of the ADAMbol magazine. Furthermore, the court also ordered the confiscation of all printed copies of the magazine. The injunction followed a claim from Almaty City’s Department for Internal Policies that an article published by the magazine on 28 August engaged in extremist war propaganda.
“These drastic and disproportionate measures taken do not correspond to the claim. They endanger pluralism in Kazakhstan and contribute to an atmosphere of fear for members of the media,” Mijatović said.
Mijatović also noted that webpages carrying reports and comments on the closure of the magazine, including webpages on adilsoz.kz, azattyk.org and vlast.kz, were made inaccessible.
“A vital function of media in a democracy is to contribute to a plurality of voices and to stimulate debate. These measures run against this function and the OSCE commitments on media freedom,” Mijatovic said.
More than 30 media outlets have been closed in Kazakhstan since late 2013 with authorities citing administrative code violations or the publishing of extremist views as the reasons.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.