Legacy of censorship

Nursultan Nazarbayev finally stood down as president in March 2019, after holding the position for three decades, but he continues to be “Leader of the Nation” and to exercise supreme control over Kazakhstan’s future. The June 2019 presidential election seemed to mark the start of a transition towards more freedom of expression: civil society has organized unprecedented protests, online news reporting has improved in quality and is being read more, and the government has made small concessions in order to lend some credibility to its reformist discourse. However, at the same time, the state is modernizing its methods of repression and, in particular, exercising more control over the Internet, where surveillance is now widespread, news sites, social media and messaging services are now subjected to more “effective” periodic cuts, and bloggers have been jailed or confined to psychiatric clinics. It is high time to wind up the legacy of censorship.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



157 in 2020

Global score


54.11 in 2020


  • 0
    journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2022
  • 1
    media assistants killed in 2022
Go to the barometre