Protests against the closure of RFE/RL rebroadcasts in Kyrgyzstan.

Posted: 20 Mar 2010   Print   Send a link
"Several dozen activists and opposition politicians rallied in the capital of Kyrgyzstan on Monday in protest against what they say are government efforts to block the broadcast of U.S.-funded radio and television programs. ... Radio Azattyk has been unavailable across most of Kyrgyzstan since Wednesday after several of the station's local partners revoked their rebroadcasting deals. 'Our partners, which relay our radio transmissions, say they have come under pressure and been threatened with having their license revoked, so they unilaterally broke their contracts with us,' said Radio Azattyk reporter Bektash Shamshiyev. ... 'Radio Azattyk is the only radio station that informs the public about what is really happening in the country,' said Ak-Shumkar opposition party leader Temir Sariyev." Leila Saralayeva, Canadian Press, 15 March 2010.
     "'Press freedom violations seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity,' Reporters Without Borders said. 'By harassing independent and opposition media and allowing those responsible for physical attacks on journalists to go unpunished, the authorities are assuming a decisive share of the blame for the extremely worrying deterioration in the situation.'" Reporters sans frontières, 17 March 2010.
     "U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) today called on the government of Kyrgyzstan to allow independent media and opposition to freely express their views following a crackdown on several media outlets and efforts to prevent public protests. 'I am deeply concerned about the deteriorating media situation in Kyrgyzstan, highlighted by the government’s stoppage of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasts,' said Chairman Cardin. 'The effective blocking of information from RFE/RL affiliates and barring of access to several independent news websites underscore a disturbing trend to hinder free expression and free flow of information in Kyrgyzstan over the past year.'" Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe press release, 17 March 2010. See previous post about same subject.