"Respublika" chief editor Anastasiya Novikova and "Golos Respubliki" editor Tatyana Trubacheva told journalists in Almaty that their sites are available only through proxy servers. They said people using the state KazakhTeleCom as their Internet service provider are unable to access them.
The editors said the disruption of accessibility to their websites is politically motivated. The two newspapers have since started placing all of their online content on the social networking website Facebook.
Tamara Kaleeva is the chairwoman of the Almaty-based nongovernmental organization Adil Soz, which monitors the media and journalists rights in Kazakhstan. She said that although KazakhTeleCom is trying to convince rights activists and journalists that the lack of access to the two websites is a technical problem, "it is clear that the whole situation is connected to the content that is published in the newspapers."
The two publications are known for publishing articles critical of the government.