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Kazakh Journalists Urge End To Newspaper's Harassment

An issue of "Golos respubliki"
An issue of "Golos respubliki"
Dozens of Kazakh journalists and human rights activists have urged senior government officials to allow unimpeded publication of the opposition weekly "Respublika," RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabaev, and Prosecutor-General Kayrat Mami, the journalists requested an official government statement that publishing houses in Kazakhstan may print "Respublika."

Among those signing the letter were Seitqazy Mataev, chairman of the Journalists Union; Tamara Kaleeva, president of the media-monitoring NGO Adil Soz (Just Word); and Adil Dzhalilov, chairman of the Almaty-based NGO Media Alliance of Kazakhstan.

In recent months, the weekly's editors have been constrained to print issues of the newspaper in their offices under modified titles such as "Golos respubliki" (Voice of the Republic) and "Moya respublika" (My Republic), because no publishing house in Kazakhstan would print the weekly.

The editors of "Respublika" believe printing houses have been ordered not to publish the paper.

Kazakhstan is currently the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 56-member regional security organization that works to promote a range of issues, from democratization to free media, fair elections to minority rights.