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January 12, 2011

Journalistic communities applied for supreme court to analyse practice in application of recovery of moral damage by courts from media outlets

Union of Journalists of the Republic of Kazakhstan and International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech "Adil Soz" have sent an open letter to Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kayrat Mami and Chairman of Supreme Court Musabek Alimbekov. They asked to analyse practice in application of recovery of moral damage by courts from media outlets.

It was connected with court decision of first instance with respect to republican newspaper "Vzglyad".

To:

Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan

K.A. Mami

Chairman of Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan

M.T. Alimbekov

Open Letter

Only the court, or owner of the edition can take a decision about closure of mass media, according to law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Courts enforced norms about protection of honor, dignity and recovery of moral damage. It was one of the methods for liquidation of newspapers.

Recovery of moral damage is an effective relief of personal non-property rights of Kazakhstan's people. Normative Decree of Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, dated on June 21, 2001: "On application of recovery of moral damage"; it enacts that courts should proceed from principles of impartiality and sufficiency in determining of compensation; courts should focus on subjective, objective factors and property status of defendant.

Otherwise, constitutional rights of citzens for freedom of speech, collection and distribution of information will be violated.

So, in 1998 the newspaper "DAT" was wasted and closed, according to court decision, related to protection of honor, dignity and recovery of moral damage. In 2002, administration of president of the Republic of Kazakhstan sought damages of the newspaper "Assandi Times". It made the ruling to recover KZT50000000 (USD340136) as moral damage. As a result of it the newspaper was wasted and closed. Later, the same situation has been with newspapers "Soz", "Respublika.Delovoye Obozrenie" and "Taszhargan". Editorial staff of the newspaper should recover KZT20000000 (USD136054) as moral damage for JSC "Tengizneftstroy". In 2010 a head of joint-stock company "Tengizneftestroy" has signed the statement. He withdrew from claims to property to the newspaper "Uralskaya Nedelya" and journalist Lukpan Akhmedyarov. Editorial staff of the newspaper can be closed, according to court decision. There was a litigation. They should recover KZT150000000 (USD1020408) as moral damage.

Editorial staffs of newspapers could not make amends to them from waste amount of moral damage. It was done with the goal to liquidate media outlets and intimidation of journalists.

Freedom of speech is an unalienable right of citizens, as honor and dignity, under article 20 of constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Journalistic communities applied for supreme court to analyse practice in application of recovery of moral damage by courts from media outlets.

Chairman of the Board of Union of Journalists of the Republic of Kazakhstan

S. Matayev

President of International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech "Adil Soz"

T. Kaleyeva

 

 
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