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Kyrgyzstan Intimidating Human Rights Activists and Journalists
Law enforcement officials in Kyrgyzstan should cease their intimidation of non-violent human rights activists and independent journalists, Freedom House said today.
Kyrgyz authorities are again pursuing a criminal case against independent journalist Kabylbek Jumabaev. Mr. Jumabaev, who has established opposition newspapers, was initially charged in May 2002 with criminal libel and hooliganism, after he denounced the arrest of a member of the Kyrgyz parliament.
The case against Mr. Jumabaev was recently reopened after he announced plans to begin publishing an independent regional newspaper.
"The resurrection of old criminal charges to opportunistically shut down independent voices in Kyrgyzstan must end," said Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor.
In another case, militiamen detained human rights defender Aziza Abdrasulova on October 15 as she stood outside the Parliament building in Bishkek. She had been attending a peaceful demonstration against economic corruption in Kyrgyzstan. While held for only a few hours, this was at least her eighth detention over the last three years."
According to Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2003 report, Kyrgyzstan is rated "Not Free."
Freedom House reports on Kyrgyzstan are available at:
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.