OSCE supports training of Kyrgyz journalists on countering violent extremism


BISHKEK (TCA) — Some sixty journalists on April 22 completed a series of OSCE-supported training courses in Osh and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on challenges related to reporting on religious beliefs and violent extremism.

During the two three-day training courses, which were organized by the Kyrgyz State Committee of National Security in co-operation with the OSCE Centre in Bishkek and the Yyman Development Fund for Spiritual Culture, participants analysed the interplay between countering violent extremism and upholding freedom of religion or belief, the OSCE reported.

“Respect for OSCE commitments such as freedom of expression and freedom of the media is essential to successfully implementing any governmental long-term strategy to address violent extremism,” said Sergey Kapinos, Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. “We believe that free and independent media is a key partner to the government in preventing and countering such threats.”

During the training courses, participants reviewed the history of the world’s main religions, the principles and foundations of Islam, human rights in Islam, concepts of peace and war in Islam, and the ways religious beliefs may be manipulated and misused.

Nurjigit Kadyrbekov, Chairperson of Yyman, said: “Reporting on religious issues is sensitive. One wrong word can affect the feelings of millions of believers. Therefore continuous education in reporting on religious matters is more than relevant.”

These two courses are the second training event of this kind organized by the OSCE Centre. The first three-day training course on the same topic was conducted in Osh from 13 to 15 April 2016. The third one will be held in May 2016 and focus on international good practices in reporting on violent extremism and terrorism.

Sergey Kwan