‘Religious extremism’ blamed for Kazah Internet shutdown

Sep 13, 2011
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Though Nursultan Nazarbayev’s oil-rich Kazakhstan may be the wealthiest country in Central Asia, its Internet is certainly not the freest these days, as the latest crackdown on supposed “extreme” websites proves.

Tomyris at Neweurasia reports that over 50 foreign websites have recently been blocked in the country by a court in Astana. The reason for this, according to Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor’s Office? They were “promoting religious extremism and terrorism.”

Ironically, for a country seeming so anti-online media at the moment, Kazakh Communication and Information Minister Askar Zhumagaliev confirmed the closure of several web resources via Twitter.

On September 2nd, Central Asia Online reported that the new National Information and Propaganda Group on Religious Issues (RIPG) set out for an anti-extremism tour of Kazakhstan, including visits to Almaty and to Kyzylorda and Atyrau in the North, in a bid to “to explain the dangers of extremism to the public.

Read more at Neweurasia

About the Author

Andrew Fenwick

Andrew is multimedia editor at Transitions Online and a freelance journalist. Email: andrew.fenwick@tol.org
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