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Media community asks Sadyr Japarov to publicly support independent media

Sadyr Japarov’s speech on the Information and Press Day can form a negative attitude towards journalists. The media community made a statement in regard to address of the acting President of Kyrgyzstan to the media.

It says that media organizations in Kyrgyzstan are extremely concerned about the public statement made by the acting President Sadyr Japarov on the Information and Press Day, which can form negative stereotypes towards journalists and thus pose a threat to the free press in Kyrgyzstan.

Media representatives point out that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that the media play a decisive role in informing citizens about existing problems and spreading information about how the government is responding to these challenges. «Despite the difficult working conditions, stress, fatigue and the risk of getting sick, journalists have been fulfilling and continue to fulfill their function all this time, informing the population about significant events and phenomena. The statement accusing journalists of distorting information is not supported by concrete facts,» the statement says.

However, one only needs to look at the groups in social media in support of Sadyr Japarov to make sure that his supporters took this as a signal: if Japarov or his team is criticized, then this media cannot be trusted.

From joint statement of the media community

Media organizations believe that verbal attacks of the acting President on the media led to the fact that journalists became the target of threats and harassment on social media, and all kinds of pressure were exerted by the supporters of the current acting President during the coverage of the protests in October on representatives of a number of media outlets performing their professional duties.

Therefore, such statements by Sadyr Japarov are irresponsible and dangerous.

They also discredit the activities of journalists, significantly complicating their work on covering socially significant events.

«We urge the acting president to publicly acknowledge and reaffirm the role of free media in a democratic society and refrain from discrediting journalists. To ensure the greatest equal and fair access to information, we propose to start holding regular press conferences for the media and avoid political favoritism,» the media community notes.

They also remind Sadyr Japarov that it is freedom of the press that allows citizens to better know about the ideas and positions of political leaders and formulate their personal attitude towards them.