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Kazakh Activists Protest Ban On Journalism Day Demos

Bolat Abilov

Bolat Abilov

Activists in Kazakhstan have issued a statement challenging a government decision to ban mass gatherings on Journalism Day, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Opposition Azat party head Bolat Abilov, journalists from nonstate periodicals, and human rights activists held a press conference in Almaty to discuss pressure faced by opposition and independent journalists in Kazakhstan.

They said the ban on demonstrations on Journalism Day -- June 25 -- violates Kazakh law, the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and UN declarations on civil rights and freedoms that have been endorsed by Kazakhstan.

The activists also urged media outlets to donate space to the opposition newspaper "Taszharghan" (Stonebreaker), which was recently shut down by the government.

They announced that they will hold a demonstration in support of journalists on June 24, the day before Journalism Day.