Sign up for weekly updates

Journalists frequently summoned for questioning by authorities

(Adil Soz/IFEX) - The following is a joint Adil Soz and Public Association "Journalists" (PAJ) alert:

Journalists are frequently being summoned for questioning by the Special Services of Kyrgyzstan. On 5 December 2008, the founder of the local Buran radio station, independent journalist Rakhmanzhan Islamov, was summoned for questioning at the Department of the State Committee for National Security in the city of Tokmok.

The independent press agency "" reported that Islamov was accompanied by lawyer Maxim Kuleshov. Kuleshov said that an employee of the State Committee for National Security asked Islamov to stop investigating a robbery at a branch of the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic in Zhalal-Abad.

Islamov said that the State Committee for National Security employee began to threaten him, saying that the investigation into the bank robbery was none of his business.

In a separate incident, Vadim Nochevkin, a journalist with the independent newspaper "Delo N",was also summoned for questioning by employees of the State Committee for National Security on 5 November. This was in connection with the publication of his 8 October article entitled "Where do megawatts appear?" The article was about the state of the energy sector. Nochevkin said that the security committee had read his article in detail and came to the conclusion that it was improperly written.

The chief editor of the "Reporter" newspaper, Turat Akimov, was also summoned for questioning by the committee.

Other journalists from the independent press agency "" were also summoned for questioning. The authors of articles about flour delivered to Kyrgyzstan from China were questioned by employees of the Financial Police Department for more than two hours on 5 December. "" said that they were interested in how the journalists had obtained information on the poor quality of the flour and demanded that they reveal the names and positions of their sources.

Employees of the Public Association "Journalists" believe that the questioning of journalists will make them avoid critical coverage of incidents and will lead to self-censorship.

There are no norms established in the laws of the Kyrgyzstan Republic that govern the way that law enforcement bodies carry out the questioning of journalists and as a result prevent journalists from doing their work. Article 8 of the Law "On protection of the professional activities of journalists" forbids interference in the professional work of journalists and also prohibits people from demanding that journalists' reveal their sources.

Latest Tweet:

Ukraine: Police arrest man In connection to killing of activist Kateryna Gandziuk

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.