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New Kazakh Law Restrict Civil Society

Nursaltan Nazarbaev (file photo) 14 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has signed a bill that amends the country's national-security laws, further restricting the activities of nongovernmental organizations, political parties, the media, and religious freedoms, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

Among other things, the bill introduces a new interpretation of "missionary activities," and bans religious groups from conducting such activities in the country if they are not registered with the government.

Also under the law, the media will be held accountable for disclosing information about security operations and disseminating what authorities consider to be "propaganda."

Kazakh lawmakers say the amendments are aimed at containing extremism, terrorism, and the financing of such groups.