Nothing slowing the repressive spiral
The uncertainty surrounding the succession to Nursultan Nazarbayev, the “Leader of the Nation” who has ruled since 1990, has accentuated his paranoia and determination to keep a tight grip. The main opposition national newspapers were all banned in 2013, the remaining few are collapsing under the impact of fines, and any new independent newspaper is inevitably closed within months. Journalists are often arrested and the Internet is now closely controlled, with mass surveillance, imprisonment of bloggers and frequent cuts in access to news websites, social networks and messaging services. Legislative amendments that took effect in late 2017 have aggravated the situation by undermining the legal basis of investigative reporting and access to state-held information.
157 in 2017
54.01 in 2017