Kazakh journalists are no longer permitted to publish politicians' private conversations
The Kazakh Prosecutor General's Office officially warned the media yesterday of the necessity to abstain from featuring materials interfering with the right to "privacy of correspondence, conversations over the phone, and mail." What amounts to the ban is the authorities' reaction to appearance in the Internet in mid-October of printouts of phone conversations of allegedly senior officials of the Kazakh state. As a matter of fact, access to these web sites was promptly blocked. Yesterday, however, the authorities plainly told the journalistic community not to even entertain the idea of trying to smear the national leadership.
Culture and Information Minister Yermuhamet Yertysbayev met with administrators and owners of these web sites a week ago. The meeting was arranged behind the closed doors so that no information was available on it during or right after the meeting. It was discovered a week later that Yertysbayev had summoned web sites administrators and owners to talk about publication of phone conversations and involvement of the president's ex-son-in-law Rahat Aliyev.
No longer welcome in Kazakhstan and therefore hiding in Vienna, Aliyev admitted the part he had played in appearance of the publications in several latest interviews. Aliyev even hinted he had evidence of President Nursultan Nazarbayev's involvement in assassination of opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbayev. The escapee said he was ready to go public with whatever he knew and that it would affect very many senior officials. Aliyev may be ready. Are Kazakh media outlets ready too?
Semyon Bolshakov (Astana), Kommersant, November 9, 2007, p. 11 © Translated by Ferghana.Ru