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President's Daughter Criticizes Kazakh Media Bill

Darigha Nazarbaeva, the eldest daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) June 13, 2006 -- The daughter of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev today voiced fresh criticism at government-backed amendments to the existing media law.

Addressing reporters in parliament, Darigha Nazarbaeva accused lawmakers of rushing to make changes she said would put media outlets under tighter state control.

She said she suspected the government of exerting pressure on lawmakers so that no real discussion on the proposed amendments takes place.

The head of Kazakhstan's Union of Journalists voiced similar criticism.

Seitkazy Mataev said his group and Nazarbaeva's Congress of Journalists were working on an alternative bill, but that he was concerned parliament would not take it into consideration.

The government-backed bill, if adopted, would make it make it significantly harder for media outlets to win official registration.

(Kazakhstan Today, Khabar)