NEWSPAPERS, TV STATION ATTACKED
In a separate incident on 21 May, a reporter and a staff member of opposition newspaper "SolDat" were attacked by four assailants who broke into the paper's offices. CPJ says the aggressors beat Bakhytgul Makinbai and Kenzhe Aitpakiyev, threatened them with future attacks and escaped with technical equipment. CPJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are calling on the Kazakh government to prosecute those responsible for the attacks and bring them to justice.
This is not the first time that the "Delovoye Obozreniye Respublika" has been targeted. On 19 May, staff discovered the corpse of a headless dog hanging from the office window with a threatening note attached. It read, "There won't be a next time." This came after newspaper editor-in-chief Irina Petrushova received a funeral wreath on 8 March.
Meanwhile, on 29 March, unknown individuals sabotaged the main feeder cable of independent television station TAN after it reported on the arrest of opposition leader Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, says the International Press Institute. A few days later, two TAN staff members were assaulted by unidentified attackers.
In its recently released annual review of Kazakhstan, CPJ notes the Kazakh government owns all of the country's printing houses, as well as its two main Internet service providers. In addition, almost all of the newspapers and television stations are directly or indirectly controlled by President Nursultan Nazarbayev's family and his business associates.
In May 2001 Nazarbayev approved amendments to the country's media law under which web sites were defined as members of the mass media. This meant independent journalists and opposition politicians who rely on the Internet to disseminate information were subject to the same harsh provisions as traditional media, CPJ says.
To read CPJ's country report, see www.cpj.org. ">http://www.cpj.org/attacks01/europe01/kazak.html">www.cpj.org.
For more details, go to www.cpj.org, www.ifj.org and www.freemedia.at.