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Azattyk’s case: Court trial to take place on February 9

The Leninsky District Court of Bishkek has set the date for the trial of the claim of the Ministry of Culture against Azattyk Media as a media outlet.

It became known that the first court hearing is scheduled for February 9.

The Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy of Kyrgyzstan filed a lawsuit with the Leninsky District Court of Bishkek to terminate the activities of Azattyk Media institution as a media outlet. The staff of the media outlet reported, citing a notification sent by the ministry.

The lawsuit states that the video material about the conflict on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border has not been removed and is being distributed on social media. The actions of Azattyk, according to the plaintiff, contradict the requirements of the law on the mass media — in accordance with Article 23, propaganda of war, violence and cruelty, national, religious exclusivity and intolerance towards other peoples and nations is not allowed.

On October 27, the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy of Kyrgyzstan announced that it had suspended the operation of Radio Azattyk website for two months. The ministry noted that on September 16, the Current Time resource (subordinate structure of Azattyk Media) published a video entitled «Heavy fighting on the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan», in which «elements of hate speech, unconfirmed information about the alleged attack by the Kyrgyz side on Tajikistan were used, as well as information that aggravates the situation in society and causes hatred, discrimination and division among citizens when covering events in Batken region.»

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President and CEO Jamie Fly said the corporation would use all available legal means to continue the activities of the media outlet in the country.

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