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Amendments to Gulshat Asylbaeva’s law do not pursue political goals

The Committee on Transport, Communications, Architecture and Construction will consider amendments to the law of ex-deputy Gulshat Asylbaeva «On protection from inaccurate (false) information» on Tuesday.

Representatives of Media Action Platform of Kyrgyzstan addressed the deputies. They indicated in their letter that the main purpose of amendments to the document is to bring its provisions into line with the current legislation of the country, in particular with the Law on the Basics of Administrative Activities, Administrative Procedures and the Administrative Procedure Code. They have already established procedures for reviewing and appealing against decisions of state bodies.

According to the conclusion, which was given by authoritative lawyers and human rights activists, the bill does not pursue political goals.

Those who apply remind that the Parliament is the highest representative body exercising legislative power and control functions within its powers, therefore it must bring all documents in line.

The Media Action Platform of Kyrgyzstan asks members of the committee and all deputies of Parliament to objectively consider and adopt the amendments initiated by the group of deputies.

They will allow:

  • To create a solid legal basis for enforcement of the law. The document can easily refer to other legal acts and norms, which facilitates its interpretation and application in practice. It also contributes to predictability and consistency in the regulation of free speech;
  • To increase trust and legitimacy. Citizens and media organizations will see that the law complies with legal principles, which will increase their confidence in it and their willingness to comply with its provisions;
  • To observe respect for the rule of law and the Constitution. When a document complies with the law, it demonstrates the principle of respect for the law, regardless of who applies it or to whom it applies. This approach helps build confidence in the legal system and maintains stability and predictability in society.

Recall, the deputies propose, in particular, to amend Articles 3 and 4 of the Law «On protection against inaccurate (false) information», eliminating contradictions with the procedures for consideration of applications to appeal against decisions of state bodies.

The initiated amendments state that the complainant, in respect of whom false information is disseminated, has the right to apply to the owner of the website or its page on the Internet with a statement to remove the publication. At the same time, he or she must substantiate their claim and provide evidence that this or that material is false.

The owner of the website or its page on the Internet is obliged to consider the application for deletion within three days. In case of refusal, the applicant has the right to apply to the authorized state body.

Both the applicant and the owner of the website or its page on the Internet must be invited to consider the application for deletion.

The decision of the authorized state body may be appealed. In this case, the execution of its decision is suspended. The drafters believe that two norms of the law of Gulshat Asylbaeva, which provide for blocking the website no later than 24 hours from the moment of receiving the complainant’s appeal and the requirement for the owner of the website and its page on the Internet to indicate his or her last name and initials, email for sending messages, should be recognized as invalid.

The following rights are assigned to the owner of the website and its page:

  • Disagree with the arguments of a person whose rights and freedoms, in his or her opinion, were limited;
  • Challenge in court the actions aimed at suspending the operation of the website or its page on the Internet;
  • Freely search, receive, store, use information that does not discredit or degrade the honor and dignity of a person, and distribute it orally, in writing or in any other way;
  • Publish or allow publication on his or her website or its page on the Internet text and (or) other materials of other Internet users that do not discredit or degrade the honor and dignity of an individual.

President Sadyr Japarov signed the Law «On protection against inaccurate (false) information» on August 23, 2021.