Attacks on the Press
• Repressive media law takes effect, sets limits online.
• Politicized lawsuits threaten independent newspapers.
2010: Year that Kazakhstan assumes chairmanship of OSCE.
The authoritarian government of this central Asian nation brazenly defied international standards for freedom of expression even as it prepared to assume chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Vienna-based human rights and security agency. As part of their bid to lead the OSCE in 2010, President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his government pledged to bring the country’s repressive media laws into compliance with global standards. Instead, Nazarbayev signed into law a measure that places expansive new restrictions on Internet expression, requires online service providers to collect client information for authorities, and further extends censorship rules for all media. Authorities jailed critics and filed politicized lawsuits that sought to shut down critical news outlets, but reported no progress in investigating assaults on independent reporters.