Released August 14, afternoon
OSCE Media Freedom Representative concerned by closure of TV channel in Kyrgyzstan
VIENNA, 14 August 2019 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, expressed his concern today over the closure of the TV channel Aprel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and called for respect for diversity in the media.
On 9 August, the TV channel Aprel was shut down after security forces sealed off the office’s headquarters in Bishkek, as part of a security operation.
“I am concerned by the seizure of assets of the TV channel Aprel and the suspension of its operations,” the Representative said. “While I am fully aware of the exceptional circumstances under which this decision was taken, I call on the relevant authorities to review this decision. Freedom of the media and media diversity should be preserved even in difficult situations.”
The Representative also said that the safety of journalists who cover political events must be respected by all actors, after media worker Aida Djumashova was wounded during the events in Koi-Tash on 7 August and reporters with Vesti.kg, Aprel and Kloop.kg were attacked by protesters in Bishkek on 8 August.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. He provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.