Sep 21, 2009
(Not Central Asians.) So seriously, the Kazakhs are just throwing it in everyone's faces now. Kazakhstan to the world: Yeah we imprison human rights activists and shut down independent newspapers, and yeah, we're taking over the OSCE in 2010. Keep writing letters to our ambassadors, and we'll keep promptly shredding them.
On Friday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Kazakh authorities confiscated everything in the Almaty-based independent weekly Respublika-Delovoye Obozreniye. Authorities also froze the bank accounts of the weekly and its publisher. Why?
Court officials reportedly cited a September 9 verdict from the Medeu District Court in Almaty that ordered the weekly to pay 60 million Kazakh tenge (about US$400,000) to the state-owned BTA Bank in damages. BTA Bank filed a lawsuit last month against Respublika-Delovoye Obozreniye, claiming that an article in the March issue of the weekly led to 6.7 billion Kazakh tenge (about US$44 million) in withdrawals