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Journalists' Union calls on authorities to withdraw all claims to media

The Independent Union of Journalists of Kyrgyzstan is concerned about the Prosecutor General’s Office claims against Azattyk and Zanoza.kg, as well as from the SDPK to 24.kg news agency for multimillion sums.

«As the history of relations between the media and the authorities of Kyrgyzstan shows, such a massive pressure on the press has always been an attempt by the authorities to restrict freedom of speech and control the information field. Previously, such attempts got only a short-term effect in the form of forced bankruptcy and closure of disgraced editions, but inevitably led to the opposite result," the union noted.

«The graded approach to unwanted media, use of the state machine to prosecute dissent, the lack of sensitivity to criticism and the inability to hold equal right dialogue — these tools are not acceptable in a free democratic society, and their use serves as an alarming signal of deviation from the principles of the rule of law," the Union of Journalists stated.

At the same time, it is necessary to declare the responsibility of the media for the information disseminated by them. We propose to start an open discussion about all the facts and causes of pressure on the press with working out of recommendations for improving the quality of work and responsibility of the media.

Independent Union of Journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic

The Independent Union of Journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic will closely monitor the development of the situation and study not only the legal aspects of judicial proceedings, but also the overall socio-political atmosphere in which «the authorities' intention to control the media and to ensure existence of only loyal media is observed.»

«In this situation, we believe that the authorities have not yet exhausted other possibilities for resolving disputes with the media. And therefore we call on them to withdraw all claims that are suffocating in order not to create an atmosphere of tension. We are counting on common good sense and constructive approach in the interests of the whole society," the Union of Journalists said in the statement.