When the independent television outlet Stan TV was raided by Kyrgyz financial police on April 1, authorities claimed they were investigating the use of unlicensed software. The timing of the raid implied a different motivation. As CPJ reported at the time, the day before, the Kyrgyz courts had shut down the pro-opposition newspaper Forum. In the previous month, two other newspapers, Achyk Sayasat (Open Politics) and Nazar (Viewpoint), were suspended for allegedly insulting the now-ousted president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The regional news Web sites Ferghana and Centrasia were blocked as well. Stan TV was in the midst of covering the growing opposition in the country, and the raid effectively silenced the station.
History seemed to repeat itself this week in the mountainous Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. For the second time in five years, angry protesters—ignored and suppressed by a corrupt government—ousted yet another president.
New York, April 2, 2010—Authorities in Kyrgyzstan should halt their ongoing crackdown on independent and opposition news outlets, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A Bishkek court suspended a pro-opposition newspaper on Wednesday—the third such suspension this month—while financial police confiscated newsroom computers belonging to an independent Web-based television channel on Thursday, effectively taking it off the air.
Your Excellency: On the fifth anniversary of the Tulip Revolution that brought your government to power on the promise of democratic reform, the Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to express alarm at your government’s backsliding on press freedom.
New York, March 16, 2010—The
Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by reports that the Kyrgyz government
has pressured several radio and television stations to stop carrying programming
from the Kyrgyz service of the
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1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
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