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Atambayev ready to withdraw claims to journalists, human rights activist

Ex-president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev is ready to withdraw claims of the Prosecutor General’s Office on protection of his honor and dignity to the founders of Zanoza.kg — Naryn Aiyp, Dina Maslova and to the head of Adilet Legal Clinic Cholpon Dzhakupova. The press service of SDPK reported.

According to it, Almazbek Atambayev noted the positive processes in the media community of Kyrgyzstan, which allows him to withdraw the material part of the lawsuits against the named defendants.

The day before, the Media Policy Institute and the representative office of Internews in Kyrgyzstan sent an appeal to the ex-president about the discussions in the society regarding multi-million lawsuits against the authors of publications in the media.

Media experts noted that they are unconditional opponents of any harassment of journalists, have always opposed any risks of infringing on freedom of speech.

Stressing the injustice, in their opinion, and the disparity of the measures, taken by the courts for mistakes made by the authors, they mentioned a number of positive results that the media community and the state were able to achieve in resolving disputes over these claims.

The crisis provoked an important and useful discussion in the professional media community. Many media, including Zanoza.kg, conducted a serious discussion of errors.

The media experts noted that over the past year, the media started paying more attention to verifying the authenticity of statements by politicians and public figures, published messages and information.

In response to the appeal, Almazbek Atambayev stressed that the material part of the lawsuits had never been his goal. It is only about the need to create mechanisms to protect society from slander.

The ex-president considers the work done over the past year by the prosecutor’s office and the media community extremely important. As a result of consideration of lawsuits in courts and the address of the society and journalists to the fakes and slander topic, the situation in the information space of Kyrgyzstan has significantly changed for the better.

«I see this myself, my colleagues say about it, and you noted it in the address. Therefore, I fully realize that the positive changes that have taken place in the officially registered information resources and the media community of Kyrgyzstan over the past year allow me to withdraw the material part of the claims against journalists Naryn Aiyp and Dina Maslova, as well as the human rights defender Cholpon Dzhakupova,» Almazbek Atambayev wrote.

Regarding the proportionality of claims, the former president stressed the importance of the need to solve this problem at the legislative level. He believes that it is necessary to find a reasonable balance between effective struggle with fake news and slander and the real possibilities of the media market. «We discussed this issue. I am sure that the deputies will find this balance,» Almazbek Atambayev said.

The former Prosecutor General Indira Dzholdubaeva filed the lawsuit against Cholpon Dzhakupova, Naryn Aiyip and Dina Maslova in April 2017. She demanded to collect in favor of Almazbek Atambayev in total 12 million soms. The head of the supervisory body won the suit in all courts.