Kazakhstan escalates harassment of media, confines blogger to clinic

first_img January 15, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Kazakhstan KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedoms WomenCorruptionJudicial harassmentCitizen-journalistsInternet News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an end to the harassment of media and journalists in Kazakhstan, where – in the past few days – the authorities have searched two independent media outlets, blocked a news website, briefly detained four journalists and confined a woman blogger to a psychiatric clinic.This latest crackdown has come amid growing tension among the Kazakh elite about who will succeed the country’s president for the past three decades, 77-year-old “Leader of the Nation” Nursultan Nazarbayev. The rivalry between various elite factions and the government’s paranoia keep on having repercussions for the Kazakh media, from which the opposition media have long been purged.Much of the equipment at the headquarters of the magazine Forbes Kazakhstan and the news website Ratel.kz was seized during raids in Almaty, the business capital, on 2 April. Access to the Ratel.kz site has been blocked and four journalists who were briefly arrested are now facing the possibility of up to five years in prison in connection with their coverage of alleged corruption involving a former minister.The blogger, Ardak Ashim, was forcibly confined to a psychiatric clinic in the southern city of Shymkent on 31 March in connection with her popular blog posts criticizing the authorities.“The persecution of Forbes Kazakhstan, Ratel.kz and Ardak Ashim sends a chilling message to all Kazakh journalists,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “Cracking down on the media will not resolve the uncertainties the country faces. It’s high time the Kazakh authorities stopped harassing journalists and bloggers.”Arrests and searchesMany computers, phones and files were seized in the raids on Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel.kz. Forbes Kazakhstan deputy editor Alexander Vorotilov was arrested as were Ratel.kz editor Marat Asipov, his deputy, Sapa Mekebayev, and one of his reporters, Anna Kalashnikova.All were released that evening after questioning. The homes of these journalists were also raided and searched, as was the apartment of Ratel.kz founder Gennady Benditsky, who died in December.The authorities confirmed yesterday that the two media outlets were the subject of a complaint accusing them of “disseminating false news,” a charge that carries a possible five-year jail sentence. It was filed by Zeinulla Kakimzhanov, a former finance minister who has been the subject of a series of articles about his alleged role in various corruption cases.Kakimzhanov has repeatedly sued media outlets in recent years. Forbes Kazakhstan and Ratel.kz were already ordered to pay record damages of 50 million tenge (128,000 euros) in April 2017 and to delete their articles about him. The case was held behind close doors and the defendants were banned from covering it or even commenting on it on social networks. Although the journalists insisted that their stories were based on official, public records, the damages were confirmed on appeal.As a business magazine, Forbes Kazakhstan is not regarded as particularly critical of the authorities. Ratel.kz has already been repeatedly blocked in Kazakhstan and is one of the country’s most popular sites.The latest blocking began on 30 March in response to a complaint against the editor by a local prosecutor. No one from Ratel.kz was summoned to attend the hearing at which the blocking was ordered. Ratel.kz continued to post stories on its Facebook page until that was blocked today.Psychiatric clinicThe treatment of Ashim, a blogger and economist, recalls the Soviet era’s worst repressive methods. She responded to a summons to report to a police station in Shymkent on 31 March and, after arriving, a police inspector notified her of a court order confining her to a psychiatric clinic, to which she was taken directly from the police station.The authorities briefly detained Ashim and searched her home in mid-March as part of an investigation into alleged “incitement of hatred.” A local judge told she was being investigated for “negative articles about the authorities” that she had reportedly posted on Facebook.Ashim’s blogging about violations of human rights and the rule of law has long been popular in the south of the country. She attracted attention at the national level in February by protesting against a proposed government tax on self-employed workers.The leading national opposition media were all closed in Kazakhstan in 2012. It is ranked 157th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. RSF_en RSF_EECA Kazakh reporter accuses police of attacking her Receive email alerts Organisation to go furthercenter_img Regional newspaper editor harassed after investigating real estate scandal April 4, 2018 Kazakhstan escalates harassment of media, confines blogger to clinic February 5, 2021 Find out more News Reporters prevented from covering Kazakh parliamentary elections News October 30, 2020 Find out more KazakhstanEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedoms WomenCorruptionJudicial harassmentCitizen-journalistsInternet Newslast_img read more

Dubrovnik Gardens of the Sun is among the best family hotels in Europe

first_imgAfter the recent recognitions within the 2017 World Luxury Spa Awards, and winning the silver award for the best family hotel during the 2017 Junior Design Awards (Best Family Hotel, UK & Worldwide), Dubrovnik Gardens of the Sun were also nominated for this year’s Family Traveler Awards for the best family hotel in Europe (Best European Hotel for Families).Family Traveler is a luxury family magazine in the UK, as well as an indispensable multi-platform guide in planning and organizing family trips. As the only hotel from Croatia, Dubrovnik Gardens of the Sun is located in the prestigious company of the most luxurious family hotels in Europe. Nominations can be supported by voting until October 20, 2017 via link By the way, Dubrovnik Gardens of the Sun, a luxury five-star resort, is located on the coast in Orašac near Dubrovnik and is part of the prestigious group The Leading Hotels of the World. In addition to luxury accommodation in 201 rooms within the hotel and 207 residences, the resort offers an award-winning spa, sports center, 16 different bars and restaurants, a beach and three outdoor pools, and one of the best conference centers in the region.Related news:NEW AWARDS FOR DUBROVNIK GARDENS OF THE SUNDUBROVNIK GARDENS OF THE SUN JOINS THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD GROUPlast_img read more

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first_imgLiverpool’s captain-elect Jordan Henderson has called on players to assume more responsibility in the wake of Steven Gerrard’s departure. The England midfielder has worn the armband in Gerrard’s absence this season and is favourite to take on the role full-time when his team-mate ends his 17-year playing career next weekend at Stoke. With Gerrard heading for a new challenge in Major League Soccer with Los Angeles Galaxy there will be a huge hole to fill. “I think it will be a huge loss for us not only as a player but a person with his aura around the place,” said Henderson. “But it is up to us as a team to step up to the plate and take responsibility, and not one individual. “There will never be another player or person like him in terms of everything he stood for and how good he was as a player. “But I still feel we have a lot of great players here with a lot of potential and we need to start showing that potential next season. “We have hungry players who want to improve and do well and we have to make sure we are doing that next week and pre-season.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more