Kasachstan: Rozlana Taukina

There should be peace on earth without war, hunger, and cataclysms. Natural calamities are beyond our control, but the others we can prevent!

— Rozlana Taukina

Rozlana Taukina is a journalist and human rights activist working in the tough climate of economic collapse and political crisis in a Kazakhstan recently freed after decades of authoritarian rule. A well-known face in the national news media and correspondent for Reporters without Borders, Rozlana has dedicated her career – at much personal risk – to defending the mass media and individual journalists threatened with censure and repression.

Rozlana Taukina is a fighter who has spearheaded efforts within her country to bring about democratic reform and freedom in this challenging period of transition after the collapse of authoritarian rule. In 1991, she began organizing protests speaking out against repression and courageously defending the rights of the Kazakh people to free information and honest and free elections. If the authorities had not shut it down in 1997, the independent television and radio company she started would have been the most popular and distinguished in Kazakhstan. Rozlana has fought for the release of individual journalists imprisoned by the authorities and organized public condemnation when the Kazakh police killed the daughter of a woman journalist. Rozlana has written extensively on policy questions and the problems of bringing democracy to Kazakhstan. A gifted public speaker, she also organizes seminars and round tables on democracy and gives her considerable energy and leadership to several organizations fighting for freedom and democracy in Kazakhstan. These include the Forum of Democratic Forces, the Institute for War and Peace Problems, the foundation Journalists in Danger, and the Central Asia Independent Mass Media Association. She is also the Kazakhstan correspondent for Reporters without Borders. There is a saying in Almaty that if Rozlana were connected to a power station, she could generate enough energy to light the streets for one month. Her charismatic leadership style, her gift for managing creative people, and her broad global vision led her to be nominated as a candidate to the local Parliament. Rozlana says that she is happy to carry out her social and public activity for the sake of the future of her children. She really cannot imagine her life without work, without fighting for the welfare and prosperity of her people, especially children.

Institute for War and Peace Problems Central Asia Independent Mass Media Association Reporters without Borders