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Multi-million lawsuit remains in force. Journalist Kabay Karabekov facing prison

A well-known Kyrgyz journalist Kabay Karabekov faces imprisonment because of the suit of Sooronbai Jeenbekov on the protection of honor and dignity. Human rights organization Reporters Without Borders says.

Recall, being a presidential candidate, Sooronbai Jeenbekov sued 24.kg news agency and Kabay Karabekov because of the article «Visit to Sochi. The Kremlin will once again be explained why successor is good? published on September 11, 2017. The plaintiff demanded to recover 10 million soms from the media outlet and the journalist. Later, the president withdrew material claims to the news agency. The demand for the journalist to pay 5 million remains.

Kabay Karabekov asked the court to pay compensation in installments, but not for ten days. The journalist does not have such a large amount of money, but the court refused.

«According to the journalist, he himself does not have such a sum and has not exhausted all the possibilities for the trial. In particular, his case should be considered by the country’s Supreme Court. Nevertheless, it was sent to the police for criminal prosecution. Under the laws of Kyrgyzstan, Kabay Karabekov faces up to two years in prison. In addition, he is forbidden to leave the country,» Deutsche Welle says.

The head of Reporters Without Borders, Christian Mir, considers the persecution of Kabay Karabekov as «an obvious attempt to silence an uncomfortable journalist». In his opinion, this case demonstrates the growing pressure on independent journalists and critical media in Kyrgyzstan.