• KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09264 0.54%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 16

UN Special Rapporteurs Denounce Repressions of Independent Media in Kyrgyzstan

A number of UN Special Rapporteurs have denounced the repression of independent media in Kyrgyzstan and sent a letter to the authorities of the country. In the letter, they mentioned recent events related to the publications Kloop, 24.kg and Temirov Live, Vesti.kg  reports. The UN Special Rapporteurs called on the Kyrgyz authorities to fully respect international norms and standards regarding freedom of expression. "We are concerned that attacks on independent journalists and news outlets appear to be a direct result of their independent journalistic investigations. We are concerned that independent media and human rights defenders are worried that they will not be able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and associations to do their legitimate work without intimidation or reprisal," the letter states. The authors of the letter also ask the Kyrgyz authorities to provide detailed information on the charges against Kloop, 24.kg and Temirov Live. Earlier TCA reported that evidence regarding the case of 11 current and former journalists of Temirov Live, arrested on charges of calling for mass riots, were transferred to the court and will soon be handed over to the judge.

Case Documents for 11 Temirov Live Journalists Submitted to Court in Kyrgyzstan

Legal documents regarding the cases of eleven current and former journalists of the Temirov Live project, who are accused of calling for mass riots, have been handed over to the court. According to the Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek, the criminal case was received by the court office and will be handed over to the judge through the automatic distribution of cases of the AIS system, 24.kg news agency has stated. As previously reported by the Times of Central Asia, on January 16, Interior Ministry officers searched the office of Temirov Live and confiscated its editorial equipment. The police also searched the journalists' homes and detained eleven current and former employees of the publication. The motivation behind the case was one of Temirov's projects called "Ait, Ait Dese," which was published on YouTube in the fall of 2023, which the authorities claim called for mass disorder. At the time, Kyrgyz Interior Minister Ulanbek Niyazbekov said the detainees weren't journalists. "We cannot [help] but respond when they disseminate inaccurate information and engage in vilification. There are those who do not know the laws of journalism and do not have the relevant knowledge. They do not know and spread misleading information, sowing confusion among the people. I believe that we should not consider them as journalists," news agencies quoted the Interior Minister as saying. The detainees were Makhabat Tazhibek kyzy, Sapar Akunbekov, Azamat Ishenbekov, Saipidin Sultanaliyev, Aktilek Kaparov, Tynystan Asypbekov, Maksat Tazhibek uulu, Joodar Buzumov, Zhumabek Turdaliyev, Aike Beishekeeva and Akyl Orozbekov. They were all taken into custody in January for two months, until March 13. Later, the court released some of the detained journalists under house arrest and on their own recognizance. Already facing a backlash over its so-called "foreign agents law," Bishkek has pushed back against international criticism of the high-profile prosecution, saying the case is not politically motivated and that those facing charges are poorly educated people masquerading as journalists. In late 2022, Kyrgyzstan deported Bolot Temirov, an investigative reporter with dual Kyrgyz and Russian nationality. "Temirov was sent to Russia by force with no belongings, no phone, no money or international passport, and in violation of deportation procedures,” the head of Reporters Without Bordfers Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, Jeanne Cavelier stated at the time.

Reporters Without Borders Downgrades State Of Press Freedom in Uzbekistan To “Very Serious”

The international agency Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published its annual Press Freedom Index on May 3, World Press Freedom Day. The report draws attention to the dire state that reporting in Uzbekistan is in. Uzbekistan fell by 11 places in the global ranking, relegated to 148th out of 180 countries. RSF staff downgraded their rating of the state of freedom of speech in Uzbekistan from "severe" to "very serious”. “Following the 2016 death of President Islam Karimov, circumstances have only barely improved for the media, and criticizing those in power remains very complicated,” reads RSF's introduction to the Uzbekistan section of the report. To compile the index, RSF graded the state of media freedom in 180 countries around the world using five different indicators: political, legal, economic, social and security. Uzbekistan ranked 157th on the political indicator, which is 20 places lower than last year. For the legal indicator the result is similarly disappointing, a fall of 17 places. The country ranked 143rd in the economic indicator, which is 9 places lower than last year. The security indicator also worsened by 9 places. Only in the social indicator did Uzbekistan's position rise, by two places to a still-lowly 145th. RSF describes the political context in Uzbekistan as one where the authorities wield a great deal of control over the media -- and also over a large group of bloggers with close ties to the government. RSF also mentions in the report that officials don’t hesitate to exert economic pressure or attempt to corrupt or influence journalists. “The growth of independent media is also largely hampered by laws and regulations that restrict their funding, especially by foreign-based organizations that support a free press,” reads an assessment from the economic section. In its socio-cultural section, RSF notes that topics that aren't covered in official mass media are highlighted on social media, including on platforms like Russia’s Odnoklassniki, Facebook and Telegram. Some groups are said to share information about government corruption on these platforms. The report also points out that the last of the journalists who have been imprisoned, some for as long as 20 years, have now been released, but they have not been cleared of wrongdoing. Bloggers are still being threatened or arrested -- as was the case with Otabek Sattoryi, the founder of the YouTube channel “Xalq Fikri” (People’s Opinion). He was sentenced to six and a half years in prison in May 2021 on false charges of defamation and extortion. Journalists who tried to cover his trial were physically assaulted or unjustly persecuted. The crackdown on reporters covering demonstrations to support the republic of Karakalpakstan remaining autonomous shows the government's determination to silence all dissent. A report by Amnesty International published in April stated that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Otabek Sattoryi’s detention was unjustified, and called for his release. Of Uzbekistan's fall in the Press Freedom Index, a journalist from the BBC Uzbek Service, Ibrat Safo, wrote on his Facebook page: "[A] sharp drop... I’m...

Dushanbe Conference to Discuss New Mass Media Law

On May 14, Dushanbe will host a conference entitled "Favorable Media Environment - an Important Factor of Legal Education in Society." The meeting is being organized by the Tajik Parliament and the nonprofit organization, Homa, with the support of the European Union (EU). The purpose of the discussion is to review the draft law "On Mass Media" with participation from a wide range of representatives of government agencies, international, multilateral, nonprofit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the media. According to representatives of civic organizations, the rapid development of technology and international norms oblige the government to adapt legislation to international standards and modern best practices. In March 2023, a working group was established to draft a law on the mass media. It included representatives of government agencies and civil society, who together studied the experience of various countries in the region and analyzed legislative acts regulating media activities. In Tajikistan, the activities of the media are regulated mainly by two laws: the law "On Periodical Press and Other Mass Media" and the law "On Television and Radio Broadcasting." Following crackdowns, only two significant independent media voices remain in Tajikistan; the privately owned Asia-Plus, and the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s local service, both of which have long been subjected to partial shutdowns.

Kazakhstan Debates Foreign Media Accreditation

Following their second reading, the Majilis (lower chamber of parliament) of the Republic of Kazakhstan has adopted the bills "On Mass Media" and "On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Field of Mass Media," sending them to the Senate for consideration. The documents are designed to regulate the professional activities of mass media outlets. The new amendments are evoking mixed reactions. One of the key proposals was the right of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deny accreditation to foreign media and their representatives if they pose a threat to national security. This initiative provoked opposition from representatives of the media, who consider such regulations a mechanism for suppressing freedom of speech. "The draft law proposes a regulation on the introduction of press cards, granting the right to simplified accreditation to individual journalists. Frankly speaking, this norm caused great controversy in the working group and society as a whole. The overwhelming majority of the working group members regarded this rule as one that contradicts democratic principles, discredits journalists, and hinders the comprehensive dissemination of information. Therefore, a specific decision was made on this: the rule on press cards was excluded," said Majilis representative, Zhanarbek Ashimzhanov, answering journalists' questions. Other changes proposed in the draft laws include combining online publications and news agencies into the category of "internet publications," as well as shortening the statute of limitations for journalist legal requests and setting shorter deadlines for responding to media inquiries. Among other rules, members of the Majilis also proposed introducing a ban on the publication of materials about LGBT themes and topics. These changes were critically evaluated by experts, and these regulations were not included in the final document as members of the working group concluded that it contradicts both Kazakhstani and international legislation.

TikTok Users Struggle to Access App after Kyrgyzstan Announces Restrictions

Kyrgyzstan is restricting access to TikTok. The Ministry of Digital Development sent a letter to internet providers, asking them to block the TikTok social media platform, local media has reported. The ministry cited the network´s failure to comply with a law designed to “prevent harm to the health of children, their physical, intellectual, mental, spiritual and moral development.” The ministry said it took action after receiving a memorandum from Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security about TikTok, whose owner is the Chinese firm, ByteDance. Users reported “difficulties and interruptions” in using TikTok, which was still accessible via some providers, the 24.kg news agency reported on Thursday. Opponents of the restrictions on video-based TikTok say it is part of a clampdown on free speech and other basic rights in Kyrgyzstan. They note that the authorities arrested some journalists in a separate case, and the parliament passed a law tightening control over non-governmental groups that get foreign funding. In the wake of this, the George Soros funded, Open Society Foundations, which claims it has spent more than $115 million on projects in education, public health, criminal justice, supplying water to rural communities and other areas since it opened in 1993, said earlier this week that it was closing down its Kyrgyz branch. Government officials in Kyrgyzstan started to move against TikTok last year, saying that some social networks were having a negative effect on children. The U.S. Congress is also fast-tracking legislation that would ban TikTok unless ByteDance sells its stake, with a vote due on Saturday. There are concerns in the U.S. that the app could share user data with the Chinese government; TikTok has said it is owned by a private company and doesn’t share such data.

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