January 23, 2007

Dangerous tendency: Journalist sentenced for publications in his blog

This is now a dangerous tendency: one may not be safe when writing in his blog.

A Kazakhstan opposition journalist Kazis Toguzbaev was sentenced to 2 year probation for anti-presidential publication in a blog named kub.

National Security Committee of Kazakhstan find them insulting the honour and dignity of the president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Law enforcement was called due tov two articlesthe 58-years old journalist had written in April 2006. The names of the articles are eloquent: "Pope in Rome and Pope in Astana - feel the difference" and " Mafia regime covers Altanbek's killers".

In the second of these publications Toguzbaev alludes to the indirect involvement of the President of the country in the killing of opposition-politician Altynbek Sarsenbayev who was killed on February 23 last year.

As a result, on November 23 last year, the journalist was on the dock for the "negative assessment of the Nazarbayev's actions in connection with a murder investigation of Altynbek Sarsenbayev", that for the formal reason for the trial.

Despite a sentence of two years probation instead of the required charge three years colony, the protection remained dissatisfied.

Funny thing is that
three days before the sentencing on the Day of Democracy Toguzbayev was awarded with the Svoboda (Freedom) Award for "fidelity to principles and inflexibility in defending the ideals of Democracy".

This has become an additional warning to bloggers: you can not be safe while publishing your posts via Internet. I seems like the last bastion of freedom will soon be seized, too.

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