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Fergana.ru not agree with accusations, judicial decision to block website

Editorial staff of the international agency Fergana.ru made a statement in connection with the institution of a criminal case against a freelance correspondent Ulugbek Babakulov and the blocking of the website on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

The editors note that no one sent them any demands or notifications, no one notified the editorial office of Fergana.ru about the court hearings, did not invite employees to participate in the proceedings.

«We still do not know what we were accused of and for what reason they blocked access to our website. At present, we are trying to get a judicial decision," the agency notes.

Journalists believe that the war and campaign of persecution and denigration are declared against the agency and its employees. Anonymous letters, vicious comments in social networks, paid publications and TV stories are used.

Editorial staff of Fergana.ru news agency with full responsibility declares: we categorically disagree with accusations against our correspondent and with a judicial decision to block our website.

«All of our work is built on ethical principles adopted in international journalism. We have never and under no circumstances violated laws and elementary rules of honor. We have never «stirred up ethnic strife," but only strictly and clearly recorded and described important social processes. We consider all accusations in our address as far-fetched and politically motivated. We will defend with all possible means the journalist who cooperated with us. We will definitely protest the decision of the Bishkek City Court when we will get acquainted with it in detail. Unlike the judiciary and the executive branch of Kyrgyzstan, we cover, and also intend to further openly cover the prosecution of independent journalists and mass media in this country — not only our freelancers, but also colleagues from other media," the editorial staff informs.

Till the end of the investigation in the case of Ulugbek Babakulov, Fergana.ru ceases all relations with this journalist, so that no one can suspect them of presenting a tribune for the defendant, which he could use for his own mercenary purposes, and also put pressure on the court.

Earlier, the investigation department of the State National Security Committee initiated a criminal case under Article 299, part 1 (Raising national (interethnic), racial, religious or inter-regional hatred) against journalist Ulugbek Babakulov.

In his publication, Ulugbek Babakulov drew attention to the inaction of the Kyrgyz special services against those who in social networks are calling for the massacre of representatives of Uzbek nationality, calling them «Sarts». After that, the deputies Ainura Altybaeva and Muradil Madaminov called to deprive Babakulov of Kyrgyz citizenship. However, instead of detection and punishment of provocateurs, GKNB initiated a criminal case against the journalist who outlined the problem.