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UN Authority Figures

U.N. Committee on Information: Kazakhstan

Oralgaisha Omarshanova, a reporter who was investigating a violent clash between Chechens and Kazakhs, was last seen on March 30, 2007. (Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, March 30, 2009)

Mission of the Committee on Information: "...To promote the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order intended to strengthen peace and international understanding and based on the free circulation and wider and better-balanced dissemination of information and to make recommendations thereon to the General Assembly." (Committee on Information web-site, "Background Information")

Kazakhstan's Term of office: 1994 - (P.2, Para 9)

Kazakhstan's Record on Freedom of Information:
"[T]the government used a variety of means, including laws, harassment, licensing regulations, Internet restrictions, and criminal and administrative charges to control the media and limit freedom of expression. Judicial actions against journalists and media outlets, including civil and criminal libel suits filed by government officials, contributed to suspension of media outlets and self-censorship. The government limited individuals' ability to criticize the country's leadership, and regional leaders attempted to limit local media outlets' criticism of them. The law prohibits insulting the president and other senior officials...The government controlled nearly all broadcast transmission facilities...All media were required to register with the Ministry of Culture and Information...Harassment of and violence against journalists remained a problem...Journalists covering organized crime and corruption reported harassment and intimidation by government officials and private actors...Incidents of government pressure on the media continued...The government subjected media outlets willing to criticize the president directly to intimidation such as law enforcement actions or civil suits...[T]he government monitored e-mail and Internet activity, blocked or slowed access to opposition Web sites, and planted progovernment propaganda in Internet chat rooms." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Azerbaijan)