Laws of Kazakhstan disrupt freedom of speech in Kazakhstan - international observers
Astana. January 12. KazTAG - The OSCE international observation mission declared that laws limit the freedom of speech in Kazakhstan.
"Legal provisions, in particular related to defamation, extremism and the incitement to hatred, disproportionally criminalize speech contrary to international law. While the Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression, arrests and detentions on the grounds of these provisions, including for activities on social media, de facto limit this freedom," reads the report.
Nevertheless, there is an increasing space for plurality of news and opinions online, while television is largely controlled by the state through ownership and financial subsidies. Monitored TV stations provided limited coverage of the campaign, falling short of informing the choice of voters.
"Women are underrepresented in public and political life. For these elections, 28.8 per cent of the nominated candidates were women. The newly introduced 30 per cent quota of women and/or youth on the candidate lists does not necessarily result in increased representation of women as it is notbinding for parties in the allocation of parliamentary seats. Women constitute a majority of the lowerlevel commissioners, while only two of the seven CEC members are women. Gender equality was a
marginal campaign topic. Media focused almost exclusively on male candidates," said the experts.
The law provides for the right of election stakeholders to seek legal remedy, but very few complaints were reported. The Supreme Court dismissed on formalistic grounds all complaints against the CEC,thus failing to ensure effective redress. Many ODIHR LEOM interlocutors from civil society expressed the lack of trust in election dispute resolution.
Photo source: picture from an open source