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Interior Minister is urged to protect journalists' rights during elections

Citizens and voters of Kyrgyzstan call on the Interior Minister Ulan Niyazbekov to protect journalists in the upcoming presidential elections. Media Policy Institute reports.

It is noted that the professional activity of journalists is especially necessary when covering the course of the election process. At the same time, in recent years, pressure has been exerted on the media and journalists, unreasonable summons for interrogation to law enforcement agencies have been served, and multimillion-dollar lawsuits have been filed. There are threats to the life and health of journalists.

«When covering the rallies held in Bishkek after the parliamentary elections, journalists were subjected to serious physical attacks and threats. They were shot at, their cell phones and equipment were taken away, and they were threatened, demanding «correct reporting.» All this happened in spite of the fact that the journalists wore «Press» identification vests and had technical equipment in their hands. In all these cases, law enforcement agencies, including the internal affairs bodies, failed to provide adequate protection to journalists,» the appeal says.

The Media Policy Institute stresses that the media is the real fourth estate in the Kyrgyz Republic. When people have trouble and there is no longer any hope for justice, people go to journalists and ask for help.

«On January 10, a referendum on the form of government and early presidential elections will be held in the republic. We demand from the state bodies authorized to ensure public safety of citizens, to assist in observing the rights of journalists and to protect them in case of infringement. We believe that law enforcement agencies should assist journalists in obtaining information concerning the rights of citizens, and in case of violation of this provision of the law by other people, stop such actions and bring the perpetrators to justice,» the Media Policy Institute added.