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Case against 24.kg news agency suspended, office opened, equipment returned

The criminal case initiated against 24.kg news agency for war propaganda has been suspended. The Main Investigative Department of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan (SCNS) informed editors about it yesterday evening.

Senior investigator of the SCNS Erlan Akynbekov also granted the request of the lawyer of journalists, Nurbek Sydykov, to return to the editorial staff their personal mobile phones and office equipment, including laptops and computers. All financial documents seized on January 15 during the search have been also returned to the news agency.

Employees of the State Committee for National Security came to the office of 24.kg news agency on January 15 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.

On January 17, Asel Otorbaeva and Makhinur Niyazova were summoned for questioning again.