Access to a number of local and international websites was blocked in Kazakhstan last week, while hundreds of journalists were detained by the authorities amid protests throughout the country.
Activists and reporters, among whom were journalists from Radio Liberty and Russian non-governmental news agency Interfax, were detained in the cities of Astana, Almaty, Karaganda, Uralsk, Shymkent, and Atyrau. Radio Liberty‘s Kazakh service website was inaccessible from within the country, and access to the organisation’s Facebook and YouTube pages has been intermittent since 20 May, according to reports.
These events took place amid calls by opposition activists for demonstrations to take place across Kazakhstan in protest of proposed amendments to legislation regarding the sale of farmland to foreign investors. State-controlled media in the country have presented the protests as organised by “forces from abroad”.