View Full Version : Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Kazakhstan

17-12-05, 21:57
Until recently, I had not heard of Sacha Baron Cohen, a British, ethinically Jewish comedian (I bring up the British and Jewish parts because it seems important to the news articles I have been reading recently), and I was only vaguely aware of the country of Kazakhstan by name, not knowing anything else about the place or its people.

Anyway, it seems that a bit of controversy has come up because Cohen (under the pseudonym Borat) has been mocking the Kazakhstan government and people (going so far as the portray them as unapologetic child rapists) and in return the Kazakhstan government has closed down Cohen's Kazakhstan domained (.kz) website and threatened to sue for libel. Add to this, certain media watchdog groups have begun to criticize Kazakhstan for censorship and such in regards to their actions against Cohen.

So, has anyone else heard of this particular bit of news? Does anyone have first-hand experience with Kazakhstan?

In regards to free speech, I don't even know what to make of this story. On the one hand, people say offensive things about other people and about governments all of the time, but it is generally tolerated because many countries and peoples have decided that it is better to have free speech and suffer insults than to suffer under censorship. But, then, what do you do when some . . . individual (I really wanted to say a bad word here, but I am trying not to do that so much . . . it's hard!) goes about calling your people animal abusers and child rapists? Can free speech go to far? Or, is there a way to defend against really offensive free speech? What is the best way to respond to derogatory speech?

Oh, BTW, this is my first post in the European forums! I hope it is a good one!

18-12-05, 00:03
aka Ali G (the character most young American's probably know him by)