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 spokeswoman said, “the Kyrgyz law on mass media does not regard web-based news agencies as media outlets; that is why they cannot generate revenue from promotion of the candidates.”
The decision comes just weeks after Kyrgyzstan became the first country in former Soviet Central Asia to decriminalise libel, a move hailed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as a boost for press freedom.
[…] The Index on Censorship says some NGOs claims the bar “restricts citizens’ access to information”. […]