Vienna, 16 October 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed harsh criticism for the lack of action by the government of Kyrgyzstan, which seems to do very little when it comes to the protection of rights and freedoms of journalists in the country.
On 15 October, NTS TV camera operator Mirbek Aitikeev was physically attacked by unknown perpetrators in the city of Osh. His mobile phone was stolen by the assaulters. Two AKIpress journalists had their equipment confiscated; they only later managed to retrieve it. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent Sanjar Eraliev and his colleague Ydyrys Isakov were repeatedly verbally abused and threatened upon their arrival into another precinct.
SEEMO is deeply critical of the sheer number of media freedom violations in Kyrgyzstan and the lack of protection for media workers in general. SEEMO calls on institutions in the country to react and show their dedication to the preservation of human rights and free speech. The current situation is detrimental to the media atmosphere in the country and must be tackled with as soon as possible.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe.