Court Cracks Down on Opposition Media in Kazakhstan
A district court in Kazakhstan has ordered the closure of dozens of opposition media outlets.
The Medeus district court in the city of Alma-Ata has banned the publication of the newspaper Golos Respubliki [Voice of the Republic] and a number of associated print and online resources: a total of eight newspapers and 23 websites.
The prosecutor's office demanded their closure for "propagating extremism", Radio Azattyk reported on Tuesday, as cited by RIA Novost.
The ban is linked to the case of Kazakh opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov who was charged with "inciting social hatred" and sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars for his role in the Zhanaozen oil-workers' protest last year.
Two other opposition leaders, Akzhanat Aminov and Serik Sapargali, each received three-year suspended sentences.
In total 37 people have been put on trial following the Zhanaozen protests, charged with crimes ranging from arson and theft to violence against members of the public and officials.
At least 16 people were killed and 100 injured in Zhanaozen as Kazakh police dispersed an oil workers' protest in the town in December 2011.
Earlier in December 2012 a Kazakh court closed the opposition TV channel K-Plus and blocked its online resources.