ASTANA -- Kazakhstan's Ministry of Culture and Information has introduced a controversial "Code of Ethics for Journalists."
It was announced on October 30 in Astana at a joint session of Kazakhstan’s Union of Journalists and the Club of Chief Editors.
The code is described as "an instrument of self-discipline for journalists, a moral and ethical standard for journalists that helps reporters and mass media earn society's trust and respect."
It was stressed at the code's presentation that violations of the code will not lead to any sort of criminal prosecution.
But independent journalists and rights defenders in Kazakhstan condemned the new code, saying it is a new tool to control media outlets through self-censorship among journalists.
The ministry issued the code in accordance with recommendations by President Nursultan Nazarbaev.