Orchestrated throttling of Kazakh opposition weekly

first_img RSF_en November 28, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Orchestrated throttling of Kazakh opposition weekly October 30, 2020 Find out more News KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia News to go further KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia Follow the news on Kazakhstan Reporters Without Borders condemns the judicial persecution of the opposition weekly ADAM bol, which was ordered to pay an exorbitant fine yesterday and which was suspended last week in connection with another case that a court began hearing today. Freedom of information has been in a critical state in Kazakhstan for the past two years and ADAM bol, which was launched in October 2013, is just the latest media outlet to be the target of sham judicial proceedings that usually result in their closure.The case that was the subject of today’s hearing was brought by the municipal authorities of Almaty, the business capital, over an article about Ukraine they called “pro-war propaganda.” They are seeking the withdrawal of the weekly’s licence and its definitive closure. Without hearing any arguments, the court suspended ADAM bol on 20 November and banned any further issues until it issues a decision.In yesterday’s case, Almaty’s highest appeal court ordered ADAMDAR, the company that owns ADAM bol, to pay 5 million tenge (22,000 euros) in damages to the deputy imam of Almaty’s main mosque, who sued the newspaper over a February article headlined “The Kazakh front in Syria’s war.”Originally set at 2.5 million tenge (11,000 euros), the damages were reduced on appeal to 500,000 tenge (2,200 euros) but the Court of Cassation yesterday ordered a tenfold increase.“ ADAM bol’s provisional suspension and the exorbitant damages award against it are out of all proportion and could end up throttling the weekly economically,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“When you add all the procedural irregularities, it is clear that this weekly is just the latest victim of a campaign by the authorities to eradicate all critical media. We urge the justice system to act in an independent manner for once and to grant ADAM bol the right to due process.”The August article that is the subject of today’s proceedings and already led to the weekly’s suspension was an interview with political activist Aydos Sadykov headlined “Our compatriots in a foreign war.” It was about the creation of an “international brigade” to participate in the operations by the Ukraine armed forces in the eastern Donbas region.Co-president of the “Maidan” International League, Sadykov emigrated with his family to Ukraine in April after his wife, opposition journalist Natalya Sadykova, was accused of defamation by a former parliamentarian and was facing a possible three-year jail sentence.The suspension order was issued at a hearing that no ADAM bol representative attended because the weekly’s staff was unaware of the lawsuit. Its journalists were stunned to see court bailiffs arrive at the newspaper on the afternoon of 20 November without any official warrant, and they had wait several hours before being given a copy of the complaint.The 16,000 copies of the newspaper that were to have been distributed the next day were confiscated that evening. The company that prints the newspaper ruled out any attempt to reprint the issue or print any further issues as too dangerous.ADAM bol’s Facebook page has also been blocked and articles describing these events on various news sites such as Radio Azattyk and even the site of the free speech organization Adil Soz were rendered inaccessible for several days.The weekly’s founder and editor, Guljan Yergaliyeva, says a local official would not have had the resources for such a show of force and suggests that only the most senior Kazakh officials or possibly even Russian ones could have been behind it.This is not her first taste of this kind of treatment. She was already subjected to Kafkaesque harassment when editing the ADAM reader’s news website in 2011 and the Guljan.org news website in 2012.In today’s hearing, the plaintiffs were unable to say which phrases in the article constituted “war propaganda.” The court nonetheless rejected all the defence requests. The next hearing in this case is scheduled for 5 December.The Ukrainian crisis has alarmed Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s regime, which sees it as grounds for eliminating what is left of any pluralism in Kazakhstan. The authorities have been using the compliant judicial system to persecute the remaining critical news outlets since the closure of the main national opposition media in December 2012.Two other opposition weeklies, Pravdivaya Gazeta and Assandi Times, have been banned on spurious grounds in recent months.Kazakhstan is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.(Photos: Kazis Toguzbaev / RFE/RL – Madina Kuanova / Novaya Gazeta) Organisation Reporters prevented from covering Kazakh parliamentary elections Kazakh reporter accuses police of attacking her February 5, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Regional newspaper editor harassed after investigating real estate scandal News Receive email alerts January 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Avian flu case in Egypt, H5N1 inhibitor, H7N7 in Germany, unvaccinated kids, London’s pan-flu plan

first_imgApr 15, 2009Egyptian woman sick with H5N1 infectionA 33-year-old Egyptian woman from the northern province of Kafr el-Sheikh is sick with an H5N1 avian influenza infection, Reuters reported today. Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahine said the woman had fallen ill on Apr 7 after coming into contact with dead birds, said the report, which cited the Egyptian news agency MENA. The woman’s illness is Egypt’s fourth H5N1 case this month, and she is the first adult infected after a string of cases in children in recent weeks. As of last week, Egypt had had 12 H5N1 cases with no deaths so far this year, as compared with 4 deaths out of 8 cases last year, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data. The WHO recently sent a team of experts to Egypt to assess whether the virus is changing in some way.[Apr 15 Reuters report]Researchers identify new H5N1 inhibitor candidateAgainst a backdrop of concern about influenza resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), researchers from Canada and Hong Kong yesterday at a press conference in Hong Kong described a new compound that inhibits the H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to a report from Xinhua, China’s state news agency. The researchers’ findings appear in today’s issue of the Journal of Medical Chemistry. Using computational molecular docking, the researchers screened 230,000 compounds and found 20 potential H5N1 inhibitors. One of the compounds, referred to as “compound 1,” showed an ability to inhibit neuraminidase at levels similar to oseltamivir. The compound was also effective in a variety of cell-line assays and with both H1N1 and H5N1 viruses, according to the journal article abstract.[Apr 15 Xinhua story][Apr 15 J Med Chem abstract]Tests reveal H7N7 at German turkey farmAnimal health officials in Germany yesterday said a low-pathogenic H7 avian flu outbreak at a commercial turkey farm near Kleve in early April involved an H7N7 virus, according to a report yesterday from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak killed 454 birds, and authorities culled the remaining 16,246 turkeys to control it. Investigators haven’t determined the source of the virus.[Apr 14 OIE report]Despite free access, most Ontario children not vaccinated against fluMost Ontario children for whom influenza vaccination is recommended are not getting vaccinated, even though flu immunization is free to all in the province, according to a report from the Toronto-based Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). In a telephone survey during the 2006-07 flu season, the researchers found that only 30.8% of children with high-risk medical conditions had received flu vaccine and that only 10% of 6- to 23-month-old children had received the recommended two doses of vaccine. The survey targeted the caregivers of 4,854 children between 6 months and 11 years old. “This study shows that just making flu shots freely and easily available to the entire population may not be enough for reaching certain high risk groups,” said Dr. Jeff Kwong, one of the authors, in an ICES news release.[Apr 14 ICES news release]London’s revised pandemic flu plan envisions up to 94,000 deathsThe latest edition of the city of London’s pandemic influenza surveillance plan, released recently, says health agencies should prepare for disease attack rates ranging anywhere from 25% to 50% and for case-fatality rates ranging from 0.4% to 2.5%. At the high end of those scales, London could have up to 94,000 deaths, the report says. Titled “The London Regional Resilience Flu Pandemic Response Plan,” the report is the fourth version of a document that was first published in May 2006. The 126-page plan is intended to provide the agencies that compose the London Resilience Partnership with a strategic framework to support their preparedness and response efforts.[London’s pandemic flu plan]Larry Brilliant heads Skoll Foundation project to battle global threatsDr. Larry Brilliant, the founder of Google Inc.’s philanthropic arm, has been named president of a new organization being set up by the Skoll Foundation to combat urgent global threats such as climate change, water scarcity, pandemic disease, and nuclear proliferation, the foundation announced yesterday. The aim of the organization, called the Skoll Urgent Threats Fund, is to identify and support “innovative, high-impact initiatives” to confront these major threats, said Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation, in a news release. Brilliant played a key role in the World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate smallpox in Asia, and he was the founding executive director of Google.org. The new organization will have an initial budget of $100 million, the foundation said.[Apr 14 Skoll Foundation news release]last_img read more

Lescott targets new deal

first_img The England international is in the final year of his present deal and his future has been the subject of speculation. The 30-year-old fell down the pecking order under former manager Roberto Mancini last season and there have been suggestions he could move on to further his international ambitions, particularly in a World Cup year. Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is keen to stay at the Etihad Stadium and secure a new contract. But Lescott himself has given no hint that he wants to leave and, after starting City’s first two matches of the season, wants to prove himself to new boss Manuel Pellegrini. Lescott told City: “I have expressed a number of times that nothing more would please me than to sign an extension. “If that negotiating ever happens I will be there with my pen ready to sign.” Lescott formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Vincent Kompany in City’s title-winning 2011-12 season. Last year the arrival of new signing Matija Nastasic saw him supplanted as first choice while Kolo Toure – who has since left for Liverpool – was also being preferred to him by the end of the campaign. Injuries to Kompany and Nastasic at the start of this term have seen Lescott given a chance by Pellegrini but there are suggestions the club want to sign a new centre-back. Atletico Madrid’s Martin Demichelis has been strongly linked with a move to City ahead of next week’s transfer deadline. Lescott said: “It is no different than any other time. Most of my City career has been determined by pressure being put on – by myself, and by speculation of the club buying a centre-half. “This year is no different. There may be more pressure with it being my last year but I am using that as a challenge, and an exciting challenge. “I want to stay and be a part of the future but I understand there is a business side to it and if it is not to be I will walk away from the club with my head held high and no regrets.” City are looking to respond against promoted Hull on Saturday after slipping up at Cardiff last weekend. The club also now know their opponents for their third venture into the Champions League – one which they hope will be significantly more successful than their first two. City have exited at the group stage in each of the past two seasons but this year might be more hopeful after drawing Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen. Director of football Txiki Begiristain said: “We have improved the team, we have a new manager with a lot of experience in the Champions League and we hope we will be stronger in the Champions League.” Press Associationlast_img read more