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Kazakhstan moves to close 'extremist' opposition, media

23 november 2012, 12:10
0
The leader of the opposition Alga party Vladimir Kozlov. ©Yaroslav Radlovskyi
The leader of the opposition Alga party Vladimir Kozlov. ©Yaroslav Radlovskyi
Kazakhstan prosecutors on Wednesday called for the closure of several opposition parties and media outlets in the ex-Soviet state over their alleged extremist messages propagating regime change, AFP reports.

The move comes just over a month after the controversial trial of three opposition activists ended with their conviction on charges of inciting a coup. The leader of the opposition Alga party Vladimir Kozlov was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

Kozlov was arrested in January after participating in oil workers' protests in the Caspian city of Zhanaozen that killed 15 people, tarnishing the country's image as Central Asia's safe haven.

Official representative of the General Prosecutor's office Nurdaulet Suindikov said the court's decision regarding Kozlov implies Alga and Khalyk Maidany party are extremist and must be banned.

Moreover, coverage of Zhanaozen events by several media outlets incited social hatred and the organisations concerned must be closed, he said.

Analysis of the K+ channel, Vzglyad and Golos Respubliki newspapers and Internet sites Respublika and Stan-TV "showed that they contain propaganda of violent overthrow of government and undermining state security," Suindikov said in a statement.

The listed media's editorial perspectives are critical of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Many of them reported from Zhanaozen with coverage focusing on oil workers' demands and police brutality.

The prosecutors in the city of Almaty filed a lawsuit Tuesday demanding a ban on these media and political parties, Suindikov said.

Nazarbayev has been president of Kazakhstan for almost 22 years, bringing economic reforms and prosperity through energy riches, but cracking down on human rights and political opponents.

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