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(January–December 2022)

About the Service

Established in 1953, Radio Azattyq operates out of bureaus in Astana and Almaty, reporting in Kazakh and Russian. 

Produced multiple documentaries and investigations into public corruption. 

Radio Azattyq broke the story that former President Nazarbayev and his family obtained state-owned lands. 

Investigated the assets of President Qassym-Jomart Toqaev’s family in Kazakhstan and abroad. 

Since 2017, Radio Azattyq has been extensively covering stories of ethnic Kazakhs, Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims being repressed in China’s Xinjiang region.

During the January 2022 unrest, Azattyq’s YouTube channel had nearly 100 million views in one month, a historical record. 

The Kazakh Service was the only media outlet in the country to gather the names, photos, and stories of “Bloody January” victims in an ongoing project to document the tragedy. 

Published an exclusive interview revealing miscommunication between law-enforcement agencies which eventually brought the deaths of people during “Bloody January” in 2022. 

Extensively covered snap presidential elections in November 2022, as well as the election of 2019 when the current president Qassym-Jomart Toqaev came to power

Reaching Audiences

Media Climate

Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index ranks Kazakhstan 142nd out of 180 countries.  

Kazakh government censors press with telecommunications blackouts, internet shutdowns, and arrests. 

During mass protests in 2022, access to the Kazakh Service website was blocked and RFE/RL journalists were detained, shot at, and prevented from covering the unrest by the police. 

Media Center

Latest Updates

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly speaks fron a podium in Central Asia

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly Visits Central Asia 

During visits to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan this week, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President & CEO Jamie Fly met with top government officials, human rights activists, and independent journalists.

The RFE/RL logo, which reads RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty next to a logo of an orange torch

RFE/RL Journalists Targeted As Kazakhstan Protests Spiral

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly criticized the targeting of Kazakh journalists covering fuel price protests that have spiraled beyond the government’s control.

The RFE/RL logo, which reads RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty next to a logo of an orange torch

Threats To RFE/RL Journalists Multiply As World Marks Press Freedom Day

Media freedom is under severe pressure throughout RFE/RL’s 23-country coverage region.

Service Director

Torokul Doorov

Torokul Doorov has been the Service Director of RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, known locally as Radio Azattyq, since 2014. He started his career with RFE/RL as a Moscow-based correspondent in 2002. Later he worked as the Kyrgyz Service’s Azattyk Plus youth program editor for several years in Bishkek. Torokul Doorov graduated from the Journalism Faculty of Moscow State University.

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