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Spokesman for Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan comments on restrictions for media

Adilet Sultanaliev, Spokesman for the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Mukhammedkaly Abylgaziev, commented on the decision of Bishkek’s Commandant Almazbek Orozaliev not to accredit the media for the period of the emergency situation and the state of emergency. The exception was made only for state-owned channels — KTRK and ElTR.

According to the spokesman, people need to understand that the situation with coronavirus and the consequences it leads to have become a serious challenge for almost all institutions of the state and society around the world.

«We, like all citizens, are concerned about overcoming the challenges to freedom of speech and democracy in a state of emergency together. But for now, the arguments of those who are engaged in protection of the life and health of citizens, at least at this stage, are significantly forcible. Extremely important work is being carried out today to identify contact persons and their isolation. How good this work will be carried out is of great importance for the country and its future, because we are talking about people’s lives. The restrictions introduced for all citizens, except for those who fight against the infection and ensure functioning of life support structures, are explained by these goals,» he said.

Adilet Sultanaliev believes that the commandant voiced his position as a person who is responsible for the observance by all citizens of the new rules necessary to protect their life and health.

«At the same time, we see how even the most democratic states not only prohibit the freedom of movement of journalists, but also introduce a complete ban on publication of any unofficial information about the virus. Of course, the relevance of such steps is a matter of discussion. So far, not a single media has provided compelling reasons why they need exclusive permits for free movement in territories where a state of emergency has been introduced. The government holds briefings and press conferences daily every few hours, which are broadcast online. We know that many media have changed broadcasting time of their programs in the current circumstances and adjusted the rules of work that is the right decision,» he stressed and added that the Cabinet is ready to discuss mechanisms with the mainstream media to provide more efficient work of journalists in the current conditions in the interests of citizens.

As of today, there are 111 confirmed coronavirus cases in Kyrgyzstan. A state of emergency and curfew were imposed in the territory of Bishkek, Osh and Jalal-Abad cities, Nookat and Kara-Suu districts of Osh region, Suzak district of Jalal-Abad region.