Statement on Arrest of Igor Vinyavskiy and Raid on Independent Newspaper in Kazakhstan

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly to the Permanent Council

Vienna, January 26, 2012

The United States wishes to join in the sentiments expressed by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic in her statement on January 25 and to express concern regarding the January 23 raid on independent weekly newspaper Vzglyad by the Kazakhstan security service (KNB) and the detention of the paper’s editor, Igor Vinyavskiy.

The United States recalls Kazakhstan’s OSCE commitments concerning the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and urges the Government of Kazakhstan to conduct itself in accordance with these commitments, including those guaranteeing freedom of expression and the right to impart information without interference by public authorities.  The United States also calls upon the Government of Kazakhstan to conduct all investigations in an open and transparent manner.

We commend to Kazakhstan’s authorities the helpful recommendations of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in this area and urge that these recommendations be implemented.  The United States remains committed to working together with the government and people of Kazakhstan to encourage freedom of expression and rule of law based on principles of justice and OSCE commitments, which we view as integral to the democratic process in every State.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.