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Kyrgyzstan: News website blocked

Access to the website of independent news agency Ferghana was blocked this week by telecommunications company Kyrgyztelecom in response to a formal request from the Kyrgyz state communications agency. In a resolution made public on 16 June last year, the Kyrgyz parliament called for access to the site to be

From the archives, 50 years, 50 writers: Djamshid Karimov

From the archives, 50 years, 50 writers: Djamshid Karimov

One of the writers championed by Index on Censorship and English PEN to mark 50 years of the Writers in Prison Committee, Uzbek journalist Djamshid Karimov was released from a psychiatric hospital on 30 November. Djamshid Karimov, nephew of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, is an outspoken critic of the government, known

Uzbekistan: Charges dropped against freelance journalist

All charges against freelance journalist Elena Bondar in Uzbekistan have been dropped. Bondar was detained at Tashkent airport on 22 August returning from a journalism seminar in Kyrgyzstan, she was told she faced prosecution because she did not declare professional material that was seized from her.

Uzbekistan: Journalist detained at airport

Uzbek journalist Elena Bondar was detained at the arrivals area of Tashkent airport after attending a course on modern journalism tools organised by OSCE and Deutsche Welle in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  After a thorough examination of her documents and baggage, customs officials let the journalist go home, but confiscated CDs and USB flash drives

Kyrgyzstan: Journalist brutally attacked

Shokhrukh Saipov, the Osh-based editor and publisher of news website Uz Press, was last week attacked by unidentified individuals. Saipov had been attending a media seminar in Osh, and was found unconscious with his nose and several teeth broken on a street in the village of Aravan, 17 miles outside of

Kyrgyzstan: government bans news websites ahead of election campaign

Kyrgyzstan’s Central Elections Committee (CEC) has decided to bar web-based news media from participating in the campaign ahead of the 30th October presidential election. Eleven news sites have been denied accreditation to inform voters on pre-election developments. While some NGOs have claimed the move restricts citizens’ access to information, a CEC

Kyrgyz journalist hospitalised after attack

Kyrgyz journalist Nazgul Kushnazarova was badly beaten near her home on 22 February.  None of her possessions were taken, which has given rise to speculation that it was motivated by her professional activities. Kushnazarova is a journalist at the private radio station Almaz and anchor of a show called “Current Thoughts”

Free Microsoft licences to help combat censorship

Microsoft is extending its program of giving free software licences to non-profit organisations. The initiative was first applied to Russia, after it was discovered that authorities were using software piracy inquiries as a method of suppressing independent media outlets and advocacy groups. The program will now include 500,000 NGOs in

Kyrgyzstan: Microsoft denies censorship claims

Microsoft has denied claims that its staff were involved in the silencing of internet television station Stan TV, which was raided by police on April 1. Initial reports claimed the police were accompanied by a Microsoft representative, who came armed with an order from Kyrgyzstan Prosecutor General’s office authorising him to seal the station’s

Kyrgyzstan: New government claims to be in full control

Following dramatic scenes in the capital Bishek in the last few days, Roza Otunbayeva, the leader of Kyrgyzstan’s Social Democratic Party said today that a coalition of opposition parties have seized control of the country’s security headquarters, state television and various government buildings. Otunbayeva called on President Kurmanbek Bakiyev —

Kyrgyzstan: protests break out over repressive government

Large-scale riots have broken out in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, over what human rights groups claim are increasingly repressive policies of the president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev.  One government minister has been killed, and the deputy prime minister has been taken hostage in a series of protests which started when a group

Kyrgyzstan: journalist dies after brutal attack

A Kyrgyz opposition journalist, Gennady Pavlyuk has died in Kazakhstan today, nearly a week after he was thrown out of sixth-floor window with his hands and feet bound. He had been in a coma since the 16 December incident and died without regaining consciousness. Pavlyuk was a leading critic of

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