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Media experts: Methods of pressure on media lead to devastating consequences

Today’s methods of pressure on journalists will lead to devastating consequences. Media Development Center stated, commenting on the claims of the Matraimovs against three media outlets — 24.kg news agency, Kloop and Azattyk.

Media experts express deep concern about the situation. «We are bitterly aware that our freedom of speech is now under real threat due to open pressure on the media through the courts. Some independent media outlets have been persecuted by those in power for criticism in public space. The right to freedom of thought and opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of speech and press, in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, are the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens,» the statement says.

The situation could have serious consequences. Indeed, thanks to the contribution of the media to ensuring effective public administration, our country can follow the path of development.

The Media Development Center notes that quality journalism has a chance of success only in the conditions created by the state for the development of free, independent and pluralistic media.

«Judicial arbitrariness, which we are witnessing today, inflicts unprecedented damage on the direct mission of the media in a democratic society — impartial reporting of facts and pressing problems of society. As a result of such actions on the part of the authorities, we are experiencing a serious rollback from democracy,» the organization stresses.

It became known yesterday that Raiymbek Matraimov filed a lawsuit against Azattyk, Kloop and 24.kg news agency. He demands to recover 22.5 million, 12.5 million and 15 million soms, respectively, from the media outlets and 10 million — from Ali Toktakunov.

24.kg news agency published an investigation by colleagues from Azattyk and Kloop about smuggling schemes and transfer of $ 700 million. It was done by many media.