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There is freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan, Parliamentary Speaker assures

Speaker of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan Nurlanbek Shakiev does not agree with those who talk about persecution of the media and infringement of journalists’ rights. He said this at a meeting of the Parliament.

According to him, everything has a limit, everyone should feel responsible.

«Organizations funded from abroad want to disrupt the stability in Kyrgyzstan. Many bloggers are doing what they want under the guise of journalism. There is freedom of speech in the country. Everyone can say what they want. And the proof of this is how Dastan Bekeshev spoke and openly expressed his opinion in the Parliament. But at the same time, one must speak within the bounds of reason. As a former journalist, I defend freedom of speech, but irresponsibility must be punished. We have returned the law «On Mass Media» for revision, it has not been changed for 30 years,» he said.

The speaker did not support Dastan Bekeshev’s initiative to create a commission on cases against journalists.

«If an official or a politician gave incorrect information, then it would be possible to create a commission, but someone came out here, said something, and it is wrong to create a commission on this occasion, deputies should not waste their time on trifles,» the speaker said.

Employees of the State Committee for National Security also came to the office of 24.kg news agency on January 16 at about 11 a.m. General Director Asel Otorbaeva, Editors-in-Chief Anton Lymar and Makhinur Niyazova were taken for interrogation.

Equipment and personal mobile phones of employees were confiscated.

The SCNS said that the search at 24.kg news agency was conducted as part of a criminal case under the article «Propaganda of War» of the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic.

In addition, on January 16, the office of Temirov Live was searched and editorial equipment was confiscated. The police searched homes and detained 11 current and former employees of the media outlet.

Shortly after the searches began, the Interior Ministry issued a statement announcing that, as a result of «forensic linguistic examination» of content found on the social media pages of Temirov Live and Ait Ait Dese on December 30, criminal proceedings had been initiated against them under article 278, part 3 of the Criminal Code for «calling for riots.»