Human rights activists asked Tokayev to take control of cases on obstruction of journalists' activity

Date: 14:43, 12-08-2019.

Almaty. August 12. KazTAG - Human rights activists in Almaty asked  Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kazakhstan, to take control of the cases of obstruction of the legitimate professional activities of journalists, said Aiman Umarova, lawyer.
“We are turning to Tokayev so that all these cases (about obstruction of legitimate professional activities of journalists - KazTAG) are taken under control. Adil Soz and I will send an official appeal to the President. I do not want to politicize, but in itself it turns out that way. I don't know if we will apply to the Minister of Interior Affairs. I do not think that it will be effective because they are his subordinates. And if the Minister of Interior  Affairs sees us, hears us, these cases should be taken under control. Perhaps we will prepare a video message because, as the practice has shown, video messages are more effective, ” Umarova said at a press conference on Monday.
At the same time, she noted that it was a matter of obstructing the activities of journalists when covering protest actions in Nur Sultan when unidentified people used umbrellas and gas canisters, she reminded of the attacks on journalists of KazTAG, Azattyk radio and Kazakhstan International.
In turn, Tamara Kaleyeva,  president of the International Fund for Protection of Freedom of Speech Adil Soz noted that other human rights NGOs might join the appeal.
“Perhaps it will be a collective appeal from NGOs, we may attract other human rights organizations that specialize in protecting freedom of speech,” she said.
She noted that an appeal to international human rights organizations has already been sent.
“We have filed an appeal in the Reporters Without Borders. We have already written an appeal in IFEX - these are 190 journalistic organizations around the world. We will not forget this matter. Lawyer's efforts and journalistic efforts should bring about some serious legal results," she said.
According to her, over the past 20 years, Adil Soz  has recorded more than 800 cases of obstruction of legitimate professional activities of journalists.
“There have been a lot of attacks. Only in our country more than 800 cases of obstruction of the legitimate activities of journalists have been recorded within 20 years - they beat, curse, and blackmail. There are a lot of forms of obstruction. There was one single case in 2005, when a journalist filed a lawsuit on obstruction of professional activity and the court recognized that he was right. It has been only one case in 28 years of independence of Kazakhstan. And now there has been a surge in these ugly phenomena when journalists are not allowed to work. These cases are extremely complicated because they are always red tape, " she said.

Photo source: picture from an open source

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