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Free media under threat in the OSCE region, says CPJ

(CPJ/IFEX) - 9 June 2010 - Kazakhstan, the current chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, has failed to live up to its press freedom commitments, CPJ's Muzaffar Suleymanov told the Congressional Helsinki Commission in Washington today.

Politicized imprisonments, restrictive legislation that muzzles Internet publications, defamation lawsuits that bring independent outlets to their knees, and impunity in violent attacks against journalists are all methods Kazakhstani authorities have unleashed against their critics. The current OSCE chair's media policies threaten the very moral authority of the pan-European organization, CPJ said. Highlighting pressing concerns in the region, Suleymanov spoke of the imprisonment of Editor Ramazan Yesergepov in Kazakhstan; the arbitrary detention in a psychiatric hospital of freelance reporter Dzhamshid Karimov in Uzbekistan; and miscarriage of justice in the murder of the independent publisher Magomed Yevloyev in Russia.

Other witnesses included OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic and Sam Patten, Senior Program Manager for Eurasia at Freedom House.

Read Suleymanov's full testimony here

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