One after another, Kazakhstan shuts down independent media outlets

Over with Guardian, riffing on a recent column I had for Moscow Times, I looked at the Kazakhstani government’s continuing campaign against independent media, and the entrenching dictatorship behind:

Despite what its media machine and PR offensive would have you think, Kazakhstan continues to stand as one of the pre-eminent post-soviet dictatorships, where political opposition and independent media is routinely stifled. …

But the reality is very different. Kazakhstan remains a nation where an autocrat can comfortably swing 98% of the vote in an election, while political opponents sit in jail, and freedom of assembly remains nearly non-existent.

Even freedom of religion, which the authorities so eagerly play up for foreign observers, is a stretched truth. While the country hosted a Congress of World Religions last month, it remains one of only 33 nations cited by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom monitored for “serious religious freedom violations”.

Also, with The Diplomat, I wondered whether or not Modi’s visit to Turkmenistan could finally push the TAPI pipeline to some kind of fruition.