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Head of state about freedom of speech, journalists and Kabai Karabekov

The President of Kyrgyzstan, who took office on November 24, 2017, today for the first time met with the heads of the leading media outlets and foreign journalists, accredited by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Kyrgyz Republic. Sooronbai Jeenbekov held a meeting in the questions and answers format.

A lot of questions related to freedom of speech, media and prosecutions of journalists.

«I support freedom of speech. But I believe that it must be treated with all responsibility,» said Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Journalists asked if the president was worried about the fact that Kyrgyzstan would soon be next to North Korea, sinking lower and lower, in the freedom of speech ranking.

«I understand that this question is about Kabai,» said Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

He told that he knew Kabai Karabekov as a professional journalist for a long time, and they were deputies of the Parliament together and communicated very closely, he respected the professionalism of the journalist who worked in internationally respected media.

«Kabai is not a journalist now. He is a politician. He used to be the benchmark not only of local journalism, but of the international one. And then he called me an extremist, repeatedly. But he has to answer for his words, for blackening,» the president said.

Sooronbai Jeenbekov said that he would strengthen freedom of speech. But he is against the vilification of someone without evidence and without any facts.

«Yes, I filed a lawsuit and proved in court that the libel was published. This should be a lesson for every journalist,» the president said.

«I am ready to cooperate with the media and society. We react to every news, especially if there are critical remarks, signals. I charge to check it immediately. Journalists, you have a great influence in the formation of political culture,» said Sooronbai Jeenbekov.