09ASTANA213, KAZAKHSTAN: NGO HEAD RECOMMENDS MORE ASSISTANCE TO

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09ASTANA213.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA213 2009-02-05 10:52 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO3736
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0213/01 0361052
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051052Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4527
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1140
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0537
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1243
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0263
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0714
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0630
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000213 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, EUR/ACE, DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM EAID KDEM KPAO KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  NGO HEAD RECOMMENDS MORE ASSISTANCE TO 
JOURNALISTS FROM PRO-GOVERNMENT MEDIA 
 
REF: (A) ASTANA 0191 (B) ASTANA 0058 (C) 08 ASTANA 2383 
 
1.  (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador met on February 4 with Tamara 
Kaleyeva, director of the media watchdog NGO "Adil Soz."  Kaleyeva 
said the Kazakhstani media are very polarized between pro-government 
and opposition media outlets, with few truly neutral and independent 
media sources.  She maintained that the draft Internet law could 
result in restricted access to foreign websites.  She criticized 
opposition journalists for a lack of vision and professionalism, and 
for refusing to admit mistakes.  Kaliyev suggested that the 
international community focus more on training and supporting the 
majority of Kazakhstani journalists, who work for pro-government 
news outlets.  Commenting on the criminal case against "Alma-Ata 
Info" Editor-in-Chief Ramazan Yesergepov, she said there is no doubt 
that Yesergepov largely brought the situation on himself, but 
maintained that the Committee for National Security (KNB) "has also 
gone overboard."  END SUMMARY. 
 
MEDIA ARE POLARIZED 
 
3.  (SBU) "Adil Soz" Director Tamara Kaleyeva told the Ambassador on 
February 4 in Almaty that reporters in Kazakhstan are largely 
subject to editorial control by the media owners, most of whom, in 
turn, are subject to  directives by the government.  Kaleyeva 
estimates there are 3,000 registered media outlets in Kazakhstan, 
and 80% WaJWndependent media 
outlets in Kazakhstan, both in terms of content and financing, and 
they are local papers with regional@;Q#Q!Q?Qc letter of the law and how it is applied.  She 
cited the example of Uzbekistan, where the legislation is more 
liberal, but the situation for journalists is significantly worse 
than in Kazakhstan. 
 
INTERNET LAW COULD RESTRICT ACCESS TO FOREIGN SITES 
 
5.  (SBU)  The Ambassador and Kaleyeva also discussed the draft 
Internet law sent to parliament on January 19.  One provision of the 
legislation would give authorities the power to shut down websites 
for content that does not comply with Kazakhstani legislation. 
(NOTE:  Some claim that the legislation could be used to hold the 
owners of on-line media outlets responsible for negative or 
slanderous content posted on blogs or chat rooms associated with 
their sites.  END NOTE.)  Kaleyeva stressed the Internet plays an 
important role in Kazakhstan, especially in its ability to convey 
information from foreign sources.  Kaleyeva said the draft law would 
impose restrictions on the flow of information, especially from the 
West.  When asked how the law could be impjQ]Qghe course of the legislation. 
 
PROBLEMS WITH THE OPPOSITION MEDIA 
 
6.  (SBU)  Kaleyeva was candid in discussing problems with the 
opposition media in Kazakhstan.  She commented that more than half 
of Adil Soz's time is spent assisting opposition journalists with 
court cases, and that once the cases are resolved, most of the 
opposition journalists will not admit to any mistakes they may have 
made and will do nothing to adjust their future behavior.  She 
 
ASTANA 00000213  002 OF 002 
 
 
contended that many opposition journalists lack broad vision, real 
journalistic education, and professional ethics.  She also noted 
many of them believe the government is determined to persecute them. 
 Often, she said, they do not understand their behavior could harm 
their own interests and that they "lack the good judgment" to avoid 
potential sensitivities. 
 
7.  (SBU)  Given her reservations, Kaleyeva suggested that instead 
of focusing time and financial resources on promoting the opposition 
media, the international community should focus on training and 
supporting the majority of journalists in Kazakhstan, who happen to 
work for pro-government media outlets.  Many of these journalists 
are quite talented, she maintained.  In particular, Kaleyeva said 
one of the most effective means of assisting journalists in 
Kazakhstan would be the donation of journalism textbooks in Russian 
and Kazakh.  Kaleyeva said she would also like to push for the 
establishment of trade unions for journalists that will protect 
their common labor rights. 
 
EDITOR OF ALMA-ATA INFO, VICTIM OR CRIMINAL? 
 
8.  (SBU)  In closing, the Ambassador asked Kaleyeva for her 
evaluation of the case of Ramazan Yesergepov, the "Alma-Ata Inf
o" 
Editor-in-Chief charged with the dissemination of state secrets, who 
remains in the custody of the Committee for National Security (KNB). 
 Kaleyeva said there is no doubt that Yesergepov largely brought the 
situation on himself.  She stressed, however, that the KNB "has also 
gone overboard."  She explained that Kazakhstani legislation imposes 
on a journalist the duty and responsibility to protect his sources, 
although she admitted that the law does not afford special 
protection for journalists who do so.  In her opinion, Yesergepov 
had the misfortune to be caught up in the KNB's battle with a local 
criminal king-pin in Taraz.  Nevertheless, she believes that his 
arrest was a "warning" to other journalists.  Kaleyeva said 
Yesergepov's situation highlights the methods and power of the KNB 
in Kazakhstan. 
 
9.  (SBU) COMMENT:  We tend to agree with Kaleyeva that media 
assistance in Kazakhstan should focus on raising professionalism and 
ethical standards of all journalists, even if they are associated 
with the government -- as most are.  We were especially struck by 
her observation that too many self-described opposition journalists 
see their role in life, more or less, as hurlers of verbal Molotov 
cocktails.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: