Threats to Journalists: Kazakhstan

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  • In July 2011, RFE Kazakh Service reporter Alima Abdirova was subjected to intimidation following her report on a suicide bombing this past spring and armed clashes between police and alleged religious extremists in July. She was sued by a boarding school for libel in August, after she published a report alleging child abuse. She was denied a lawyer at her trial but was eventually acquitted.
  • RFE/RL web editor Ermek Boltay was attacked outside his home in Kazakhstan in January 2009, in the fourth attack on an RFE/RL correspondent in Central Asia this year.  Boltay’s most recent reporting was focused on social unrest in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • RFE/RL’s Kazakh language website was blocked by KazTelecom for seven weeks, from mid-April to early June 2008. The blockage affected RFE/RL local and English language sites in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and elsewhere that are served by KazTelecom. Service was restored after weeks of sustained international pressure. Kazakh authorities never admitted responsibility.
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