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Kazakhstan to control mass media during emergencies 04 апреля 2014, 01:27

The new rules allow the command center in charge of the emergency site to "exert control over media outlets."
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Photo © Yaroslav Radlovsky Photo © Yaroslav Radlovsky

Kazakhstan has legalized use of tightened control and temporary restrictions in the time of the state of emergency, Tengrinews reports citing Interfax-Kazakhstan.

The regulation was initiated based on Clause 1 of Article 16 of the Emergency Situations Law that legalizes "control of the media via demanding compulsory provision of copies of materials for approval prior to their release" in case a state of emergency is declared in relation to an emergency situation of social nature.

Emergency situations of social nature include wars, local or regional conflicts, famine, large strikes, mass disorders and violence.

The new rules allow the command center in charge of the emergency site to "exert control over media outlets." To do so the center is supposed to send out requests to owners of media outlets during one day after the emergency-related limitations are introduced asking them to compulsory provide copies of printed articles, radio and TV programs prior to their publication and obtain the center's approval. 

“After receiving the request, owners of media outlets are obliged to provide the command center with copies of printed, radio and TV materials one day prior to their release for approval of their content during the whole period of the state of emergency. In case it is impossible to provide the materials one day before their release, like in case of breaking news, the copies have to be provided immediately before their release,” the document reads.

Should a media outlet release any materials without obtaining a prior approval of the center, the command center can send an notification to the owner of the media outlet ordering suspension and/or termination of the work of the media outlet and prohibiting any further release or distribution of its materials. If the media outlet fails to comply with the order, the case will be transferred to court.

“The command center will be conducting explanatory work with media representatives starting from the commencement of the state of emergency,” the new regulation says.

The regulation was published on April 2 and will come into effect on April 12, ten days after its official publication.

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