Kyrgyzstan: Almazbek Atambayev suggested Prosecutor General's Office withdrawing claims against ‘Azattyk’ radio
Earlier, Kyrgyz Prosecutor General Indira Dzoldubaeva filed a lawsuit against ‘Azattyk’ edition intending to recover 20 million Kyrgyz soms (294 thousand US dollars) as a moral damage in favour of President Almazbek Atambayev. In mid-March this year the ‘Azattyk’ account was arrested.
On 30 March, Almazbek Atambayev received the president of the Free Europe Radio / Radio Liberty Media Corporation Thomas Kent, and discussed ‘the problems of balancing and objectivity in covering events happening in the country, the issues of impartiality of journalism, and the reasons for generating opinions about the bias of certain journalists. The inadmissibility of discrediting the most important and sacred principles of freedom of speech for the people of Kyrgyzstan was specifically mentioned,’ the presidential press service said.
‘During the time after the meeting there has been a positive trend ensuring a more balanced and reasonable broadcasting of radio materials and publications of this media. Many experts note the quality improvement in coverage of events by the ‘Azattyk’ radio. With the unconditional preservation of the principles of free journalism and freedom of speech, appropriate measures have been taken by the ‘Azattyk’ radio regarding compliance with the editorial policy, including the preliminary system of legal analysis of disputable provisions in the preparation of materials on air and publications on the internet site,’ the press-service continued.
President Atambayev considered that all these processes within the media community lead to the improvement of the national information space, and ‘emphasizing the commitment of the Kyrgyz Republic to the fundamental principles of freedom of speech and respect for responsible journalism,’ suggested the Prosecutor General's Office to withdraw the lawsuits against ‘Azattyk’.
120 people appealed to the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic against the law ‘On guarantees of the activities of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic’, where the fourth article provides ‘the protection of the honour and dignity of the head of state exercised by the Prosecutor General,’ ex-judge of the Constitutional Chamber Clara Sooronkulova stated emphasising on that this provision is outdated and need to be updated according to the existing Constitution and national legislation.