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Authorities of Kyrgyzstan give new reason for accusing them of authoritarianism

The authorities gave the opposition and international organizations a reason for new accusations of authoritarianism and violation of freedom of speech in their address. Expert and head of IZ research group Bakhtiyar Erkimbaev said to 24.kg news agency, answering the question, are the recent lawsuits against the media a threat to freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan.

According to him, the very concept of «freedom of speech» is the value of Western liberal democracy, and the right to it is enshrined in the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and in other legislative acts.

«So, the claims of the Prosecutor General’s Office against the local Internet publications do not pose a threat to freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan. Another thing is that, if upheld, they can affect closure of these resources. Except, of course, for Azattyk," the expert believes.

As practice shows, the next day after the closure, a publication can safely continue to work under a new name. Moreover, in the current situation, there are many channels of bringing to citizens any opinion, including unpleasant for the authorities of the country.

Bakhtiyar Erkimbaev

It is clear that the independence of the media in a market economy is a myth, and often online publications are an instrument for promoting their interests by external forces, and their materials are contrary to the national interests of the state.

«However, when the freedom of speech can not be abolished, it would be better for the authorities to create an effective press service and professionally oppose «enemies» through the controlled editions. They have all the resources for it," the expert believes.

«And the very basis for the claim was chosen unsuccessfully, because the format of the press conference assumes minimal involvement of the media editorial staff in the preparation of the material and reflects first of all the opinion of its participant," Bakhtiyar Erkimbaev stressed.