It is unacceptable for our citizens to become terrorists: Nurtai Abykayev of Kazakhstan03 july 2015, 15:40
Excessive attention to the Daish, the Arabic acronym for the so-called Islamic State, pushes homegrown extremists to commit terrorist acts in their home countries, Tengrinews reports citing head of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee Nurtai Abykayev as saying at the Central and South Asia Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism held in Astana on June 29-30.
“Currently, more than 150 Kazakhstanis together with over 200 spouses, militants’ widows and their children are involved in the war conflict in Syria and Iraq. Journalists often ask why we should prevent these people from leaving (the country) if they choose their path on their own and if they want to die like tens of Kazakhstanis in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and it is their right (journalists say). But we do not think it is right when our citizens become militants, terrorists and then die. Moreover, it is possible that some of those people are confused about their spiritual and moral values and will come back (to their homeland) with their mindsets distorted and with ill intent," Abykayev said.
According to him, excessive attention to Daish in the Internet and media, that often present a distorted and biased picture of the situation, pushes “homegrown extremists to commit terrorist acts in their home countries”.
“Kazakhstan has been building and steadily improving its national system of countering religious extremism and terrorism. However, we clearly understand that overcoming any kind of extremism and international terrorism requires collective efforts of many countries and the entire international community," the head of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee said.
Nurtai Abykayev also believes that sanctions should be imposed on countries supporting terrorist organizations. “It is necessary to establish a single list of terrorist organizations, and most important is to introduce political and economic sanctions for supporting such organizations. Such measure would help avoid double standards, which, unfortunately, are often used in the international law,” Abykayev said.
According to him, it is time now to develop a single definition for the term 'terrorism', which will be used by the entire international community and will rule out the possibility of arbitrary interpretation of the existing international agreements aimed at combating terrorism or evading their implementation.
"It is high time now to determine a uniform procedure for removing extremist content from the Internet and introduce it into the international level," he added.
First Deputy Director of the Center for Analysis and Information of the Committee for Communication, Informatization and Information of the Ministry of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan Yerlan Aliyev also put forward an idea to create a common database of extremist materials, which, according to him, would be blocked and removed from public access in all countries. For example, he said this could be done with "software, which will refer to the existing base of extremist content and then will be able to automatically detect and remove it from websites of all the country," Aliyev said.
Speaking about Kazakhstan practices he said there were a lot of delays in removing illegal content in the Kazakh language from Facebook and YouTube. “I would like to draw your attention to the fact that if we appeal to the website owners out-of-court, then let’s say out of 100 percent of extremist materials, they remove around 70 percent. The website owners are willing to remove it if they pay attention to it. At the same time, there are some delays with the removal of the content from the global media websites like Facebook and Youtube. Extremist material written in English or Arabic languages are identified and then removed quickly enough. But these websites are probably not able to promptly remove (extremist) materials that are in the Kazakh language," Aliyev said when speaking at the conference.
Reporting by Asemgul Kassenova, writing by Assel Satubaldina