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

Black Fungus Disease : What Is The Treatment Protocol?Bombay High Court Asks Centre, State Govt

first_imgNews UpdatesBlack Fungus Disease : What Is The Treatment Protocol?Bombay High Court Asks Centre, State Govt Sharmeen Hakim18 May 2021 7:20 AMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) has enquired the Central Government and Maharashtra State Government about the treatment protocol to treat the ‘Black Fungus Disease”.During the hearing of the suo moto case taken to consider COVID issues, advocate M. Anilkumar for the intervenor sought directions citing shortage of the drug Amphotericin, used for treating the patients infected with fungal disease called “Mucormycosis”, commonly known as “Black Fungus” disease. Diabetic patients are especially falling victims to this disease post-covid-19.A bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote said it was not aware of any protocol devised by the Central Government and/or State Government to combat the Black Fungus disease or the drugs used for its treatment.”We shall be benefited if the State Government apprises this court on this issue. The parties are also at liberty to enlighten this court on this aspect,” the bench said.”This Court is not aware of any protocol havingbeen devised by the Central Government and/or State Government for combating the Black Fungus disease.It is also not known as to which drugs are expected to be the part of standard treatment to be given to the patients having Black Fungus disease. We shall be benefited if the State Government apprises this Court on this issue. The parties are also at liberty to enlighten this Court on this aspect”Oxygen generation plantsThe court will now take up the Suo Motu PIL for hearing on Wednesday. The Court also paved the way for six oxygen generation plants to be set up in three major government hospitals in Nagpur city using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of public sector companies. The oxygen plants are likely to come up at the Government Medical College Hospital (GMC), Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital, and AIIMS (Nagpur) within the next 16 weeks from the work order. The CSR funds of Rs. 15,38,00,000 are from Coal India Ltd, Western Coalfields Ltd (a subsidiary of CIL), and MOIL – the state-owned manganese ore mining company headquartered in Nagpur. The project is estimated at Rs. 14, 96, 24,000. The bench gave the State its approval to issue work orders to Uttar Pradesh based W2E Engineering Private Limited, following a tender process on May 13. The State approached the court after the District Level Committee approved the company. The court has passed several orders to ensure CSR funds from public and private companies are used for Covid-10 management within their jurisdiction in the Vidarbha region, especially Nagpur. According to the State’s application, GMC and IGGMC will have 3 and 2 oxygen generation plants. The bigger one will produce 200 cubic meters per hour and cost Rs. 2,86,74,000, while the smaller one can produce 100 cubic meter ton per hour at Rs. 1, 74,00,000. “Considering the total costs of these projects which comes to Rs.14,96,24,000/- as against the CSR funds available as of now amounting to Rs.15.38 crores contributed by WCL, CIL and MOIL, we are of the view that since the total cost is almost according to the propose for which the CSR contribution has been made by these public sector companies…we grant our approval to these proposals and accordingly respondent No.6 may issue the workorders to the companies as per the details given in the chart as regards the proposals from serial Nos.1 to 6 on or before the next date of hearing,” the bench said in its order. The court, however, put its approval on hold for setting up oxygen plants at two private hospitals Shalinitai Meghe Hospital at Wanadongri, and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital at Hingna, from the CSR funds. During the hearing amicus curiae, advocate Shreerang Bhandarkar and advocate Anil Kumar for an intervenor said the two hospitals are providing treatment to covid patients at a nominal charge. The bench has now asked the hospitals to state their ability or otherwise to set up oxygen generation plants at their costs, clarifying that the court would consider the financial assistance if required. “We, therefore, put on hold the proposals for issuance of work orders to the institutions appearing at serial Nos.7 and 8 in the chart given in the application till further orders.” CSR funds The court directed Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) to submit details of oxygen facilities and CSR funds available with the association’s industries in an earlier order. Last week, counsel Jatin Kumar submitted data for 136 companies, while 24 are yet to respond. A few companies have come forward to donate money for covid-19 management over and above their CSR liabilities. Click here to read/download the orderTagsBombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) Six Oxygen Generation Plants Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Justice Sunil Shukre Justice Avinash Gharote Next Storylast_img read more