In response to a Kazakh court ordering the closure of the independent website Ratel.kz and prohibiting its editor from using the outlet’s name to publish articles elsewhere, Freedom House released the following statement:
“By shutting down Ratel.kz, Kazakhstan’s government moves closer to establishing a state monopoly on news outlets, and further limiting citizens’ sources of information,” said Marc Behrendt, director of Eurasia programs at Freedom House. “A government that blocks independent news outlets prevents citizens from making well-informed decisions about their lives, their communities, and their country.”
Kazakhstan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2017, and receives a democracy score of 6.71 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2018.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.