Kazakhstan blogs amid lingering sense of peril

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Статья о блогах в Казахстане, там есть мои комментарии, хоть и приведены с некоторыми неточностями Kazakh authorities have given Internet users in the Central Asian country access to the...

Статья о блогах в Казахстане, там есть мои комментарии, хоть и приведены с некоторыми неточностями

This file photo shows Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev at a press conference in Berlin. AFP photo

Kazakh authorities have given Internet users in the Central Asian country access to the blogosphere after nearly two years of blocking such websites, but fear persists that such freedoms will only be temporary.

Describing the blogosphere as a “megaphone of freedom” for post-Soviet countries, Aleksandr Danilov, a blogger and social activist from the central Kazakh city of Karaganda, said heavy restrictions and censorship imposed on traditional media by the government had boosted the role of the “new” media.
“If we look at the Kazakh media market, criticism of the government and its political decisions comes only from Russian-language newspaper Respublica or local and international bloggers,” Danilov said in an e-mail interview with the Daily News earlier this week.
“The relative freedom of blogs allows young people to express opinions that are opposite to official points of view,” he said. “Certainly the strict local media law by which all websites are equated to the [traditional] media in a way influences ‘writers’ and brings up question of self-censorship that are common for traditional media.”
Discussion of certain topics is taboo in Kazakhstan, Danilov said. “Opposition journalists are oppressed, while editions of certain newspapers are recalled from distribution,” he said.
Aleksandr Paleniy, a Kyrgyz human-rights activist, agreed, saying Kazakhs would think twice before publishing anything on the Internet.
“It doesn’t work for Kazakh people to be open and frank. Because [they] know that the existing regime can in turn apply measures, including physical elimination,” Paleniy said.

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