“The Kyrgyz authorities should drop criminal cases of ‘war propaganda’ and ‘calls to mass disorder’ initiated against several independent media outlets,” eight human rights groups said.
“Kyrgyzstan’s parliament must show that it still respects its international obligations to safeguard human rights and freedom of expression by rejecting any attempts to stigmatise nonprofits as foreign agents and criminalise their work” – CPJ
IFEX calls on Kyrgyz authorities to uphold their international human rights obligations by ceasing the wider use of criminal prosecution and abuse of legislation to systematically target independent media outlets, journalists, and other media professionals.
The lawsuit seeking the closure of Kloop Media is the most recent in a string of attacks on freedom of media and freedom of expression in Kyrgyzstan.
Under the guise of caring for children, Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Council adopts law imposing online censorship
The President of the Kyrgyz Republic is urged to return the draft law to the Jogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council) for thorough revision, with the participation of experts in the field, and an analysis of international legal provisions.
The recent ruling to close ‘Azattyk Media’, which can still be appealed in court, reflects a growing pattern in Kyrgyzstan to draft and arbitrarily implement controversial and ambiguous laws that could be misused to target people and institutions exercising their rights to free expression and information.
For the first time, three countries from Central Asia will be members of the UN HRC. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – each of which has serious human rights concerns – will join the other 44 members at this year’s opening session on 27 February.
The closure of Azattyk Media will entail not only a restriction of freedom of speech and pluralism in the mass media, but also a restriction of citizens’ rights to access information.
The ministry is seeking to shut down ‘Radio Azattyk’ because of a 2022 video report about clashes on the Kyrgyz/Tajik border in the Batken region. The media outlet’s websites have been blocked since October.
“Kyrgyz authorities must immediately reverse this measure, which caps months of judicial harassment of Temirov and his outlet, Temirov Live, and cease harassing and obstructing the work of independent news outlets” – CPJ
The Kyrgyz government has proposed a draft law that would enable it to restrict citizens’ right to freedom of association and strengthen regulation and control over nongovernmental organisations.
Civil society organisations voice concern over Kyrgyzstan’s assault on free expression and independent media
Recent legislative changes, an increase in the harassment of independent media outlets, and a series of attacks on journalists reveal an alarming trend of shrinking press freedoms. Kyrgyzstan is urged to reverse this pattern and create an enabling environment conducive to media freedom and civic space.
The authorities in several Central Asian states have warned news outlets to tone down their coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or ignore it entirely.
The prosecutor general’s office has announced a criminal investigation into Kaktus.media after it republished an article, originally published by a Tajik news website, concerning a recent clash at the disputed border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.