OSCE urges Kazakhstan to reconsider restrictions on media and internet access14 april 2014, 12:04
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović has expressed concern over the changes in the Kazakhstani legislation impeding freedom of speech and free internet access, Tengrinews.kz reports citing Interfax-Kazakhstan.
"There has been a series of changes in Kazakhstan’s legislation that might result in undue restrictions of public debate in the media and access to the Internet. I call on the authorities to reconsider these changes,” Mijatović said.
“The unclearly defined terms and harsh punishments would allow for a wide interpretation of the law under which the right of freedom of the media can be limited. This might result in self-censorship or undue control over media content by the authorities,” Mijatović added.
The OSCE representative urged the government of Kazakhstan to carry on with the dialogue among the citizens and to take into account the recommendations of her office’s latest legal review presented last year.
Earlier, Kazakhstan legalized use of tightened control and temporary restrictions during the state ofemergency.
Besides, the parliament approved the wording of the Criminal Code that contains a new article criminalizing the “dissemination of false information” in a second reading.
Kazakhstan also introduced new amendments into the Law “On Communications” which allows the authorities to block access to networks, including the Internet, and turn off communications equipment without even needing to obtain a court ruling.