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Independent Journalists’ Union asks to withdraw claims to media

The Independent Union of Journalists asks to withdraw all claims to the media, in particular, to Zanoza.kg and to 24.kg news agency.

The Independent Union of Journalists welcomes the decision of President Almazbek Atambayev to withdraw the lawsuit against Radio Azattyk, the Kyrgyz service of Radio Liberty / Free Europe.

«We are convinced that lawsuits on behalf of the top officials of the state give journalists doubts about their protection by law and can lead to self-censorship, a reduction in platforms for discussion of alternative opinions, which contradicts the principle of openness and pluralism of democratic Kyrgyzstan stipulated in the Constitution. The experience of many countries shows that the pressure of the government on the media reduces the value of the principle of freedom of speech, the dissemination of truthful information, distorts the foundations of democracy and can seriously damage the development of the republic in the long term," the statement said.

The Union offers the authorities not to stop at this step and continue the policy of establishing constructive work with the media, which is especially important in the upcoming pre-election period, when the quality of elections will depend on the level of citizens' awareness. The media should not bear such an unjustifiably high material responsibility for the quoted statements of certain persons, which may lead to the ruin of the media and journalists.

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