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

De’Aaron Fox has no conditioning issues ahead of Lakers workout

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“He was productive on the court. But off the court, he was a great leader and tried to contribute to the team,” Humphries said. “I know he helped me a lot on the court and off the court when I wasn’t having the best games and stuff like that. He’s one of those players that can lift a team really quickly. It was really cool playing with him.”The six players the Lakers worked out on Monday are either candidates for the team to consider with its late first-round pick (No. 28) or as possible additions to its summer league roster. The group was heavy on experienced college players, with Kansas State senior forward Wesley Iwundu, Arizona State guard Torian Graham, Vanderbilt senior forward Luke Kornet, Georgetown senior guard Rodney Pryor and SMU senior forward Ben Moore joining Humphries.Humphries is projected as a second-round pick after averaging only 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 51.1 percent with the Wildcats. After touting his versatility as a post player and shooter, Humphries also said the Wildcats’ ability to produce multiple NBA players year after year will help him and Fox adapt well to the rigors of pro basketball.“We know exactly what the pressures are, what to bring and what to expect,” Humphries said. “That’s kind of the culture they teach us at Kentucky. We have scouts everywhere we go. We’re used to it. We block it out.”Role acceptance EL SEGUNDO >> When the Lakers host their next pre-draft workout for a potential No. 2 draft pick on Tuesday, it is unlikely they will fret about the player’s conditioning.Kentucky freshman guard De’Aaron Fox has cemented himself among most NBA talent evaluators as a top-five pick partly because of his speed. So when Fox works out for the Lakers on Tuesday at their practice facility, the front office and coaching staff might want to have a stopwatch.“I’m seven-foot, so you can imagine it’s hard to keep up with him,” said Kentucky sophomore forward Isaac Humphries, who was among the latest wave of players who worked out for the Lakers on Monday. “It was good because I’ve never played on a team where transition was so easy. Our transition offense was our bread and butter. It showed pretty much the whole year.”Most NBA talent evaluators believe the Lakers will select UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, who worked out with them last week. But even if the Lakers are intrigued with his leadership potential, passing and scoring, some observers thought Ball struggled with his conditioning. That appears unlikely to be an issue with Fox. Though Ball and Markelle Fultz are projected higher because of their potential as scorers, Fox has stood out for his defense and speed. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 47.9 percent from the field with the Wildcats. The Lakers regret not acting aggressively enough to retain Kent Bazemore as a free agent in 2014, and Lakers coach Luke Walton has plenty of respect for Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, who he played with at the University of Arizona and then coached at Golden State. The Lakers could find a player of that caliber in Iwundu, who might be available with the 28th pick.Iwundu has been busy, having already worked out with the Clippers, San Antonio, Indiana, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Orlando, Miami, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Toronto, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Utah. He also has future workouts scheduled with Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland and New York.“Those are guys that affect the game in so many ways without scoring,” Iwundu said of Bazemore and Iguodala. “I feel like that’s my type of game.”Iwundu described himself as “a very position-less guy,” who can guard both guards and forwards. He averaged 13 points and 6.3 rebounds on 52 percent shooting during his senior season while usually charged with defending an opponent’s top players, including Kansas guard/forward Josh Jackson.“Great player; very athletic,” Iwundu said of Jackson, who worked out for the Lakers in Sacramento last week. “He’s another guy who I see that can do a lot of things on the court.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more