Kazakhstan: Violence and repression of media grows amid anti-government protests

Media workers covering anti-government protests in Kazakhstan continue to face harassment, arrest, physical attacks and prosecution in retaliation for their reporting. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the authorities to guarantee press freedom and to ensure a safe environment for journalists amid protests.

Kazakh soldiers patrol down a street in Almaty on January 10, 2022. Credits: ALEXANDR BOGDANOV / AFP

Media workers are being targeted both by protesters and government's officials. According to local sources, journalists in Kazakhstan's regions are under increasing pressure, with at least three media workers under house arrest, while many more have been summoned for questioning by the police.

Regional journalists are now under special pressure because of their work or any criticism. Three were sent to administrative custody; in several regions, journalists were summoned for interrogation,” said Vyacheslav Abramov, editor of Vlast.kz, an independent media outlet:


Other journalists denounced on social media posts  arrest of the editor of altaynews.kz, Daryn Nursapar at home in Almaty who was charged of “participation in demonstrations in violation of the order established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.”

Daryn Nursapar filmed the rally in Ust-Kamenogorsk and posted the video on his Facebook page. He was arrested on 7 January, when law enforcement officers took him away from his home.

The Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) has been monitoring the incidents towards media workers as many Russian journalists travelled to the neighbouring country to cover the events. The RUJ recorded up to 15 incidents against both national and international reporters, including beatings and physical attacks, arbitrary arrests and seizure of their working materials.

According to official sources, some 10,000 people have been arrested since the demonstrations began on 2 January.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We are alarmed by the situation in Kazakhstan, where journalists have been attacked and arrested in retaliation for doing their job. We continue to monitor the situation. The IFJ urges the government of Kazakhstan to stop immediately the crackdown on media and to release all journalists who are currently in jail.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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