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OSCE concerned over new amendments to Anti-Terrorism Law in Kyrgyzstan

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, expressed his concerns about a set of new amendments to the law on Countering Terrorism in Kyrgyzstan. He posted it on Twitter.

According to him they could negatively impact media’s activities and freedom of expression.

«I call on the authorities to bring the amendments in line with international standards,» Harlem Désir stressed.

On 31 March, the State Committee for National Security put forward amendments, which include a number of provisions which could negatively impact the media’s activities and freedom of expression in the country. In particular, the draft stipulates that the media may be sanctioned, and even closed down, for publishing information about a supposedly extremist or terrorist organization, even without prior knowledge of the organization being considered extremist or terrorist. Furthermore, the amendments stipulate that reporters cannot interview «terrorists» on their own initiative, or provide airtime to them, without first acquiring permission from an official. Reporters are further obliged to pass on materials or information relating to terrorist activities to the authorities.

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