Report.IMP. November 2013

Media Policy Institute
Monthly narrative report
Reporting period: November 1 – November 30, 2013
Provided by: Ainura Eshenalieva
Date of submission: December 1, 2013

I. Resume

For the reporting period Media Commissioner Akmat Alagushev defended the interests of media and media representatives in 8 court cases, two of them were resolved amicably, one process was partially satisfied, and the rest are in process.

MPI conducted a round table devoted to “Press Freedom Day: Straight talks”, where state officials, NGO and mass media representatives have been invited. The event consisted of several sessions, and during these sessions moderators supported speakers with active discussions on each topic. The round table was devoted to the freedom of expression and Press Freedom Day in Kyrgyzstan which is celebrated on November 7, and aimed to raise the issue, appeared in the media sphere of Kyrgyzstan – initiative of the JK KR Deputy from the SDPK Galina Skripkina. This is amendments to the article 329 of the Criminal Code of the KR “deliberately false denunciation”, which may bring to essential restriction of freedom of speech and exploitation of self-censorship . After the round table we heard that the deputy G.Skripkina reported on withdrawal of her initiative. Thereby MPI attempts in this direction have had effective results.

For the reporting period MPI staff conducted several meetings with the representatives of international organizations, the media and state bodies.

II. Key Results This Month

1. Legal assistance to legislative drafters/government officials/NGOs/Media organizations

III. History

1. Legal assistance to legislative drafters (government officials/NGOs/Media organizations);
2. Increase of public discussions on politics in the media sphere and the quality journalism issues.

1) 5 November – Round table “Press Freedom Day: Straight talks”

Venue: Bishkek, Republican library for children and youth named by K.Bayalinov.

MPI conducted a round table “Press Freedom Day: Straight talks” where state officials, NGO and mass media representatives have been invited. The roundtable was attended by 51 people, 16 men and 35 women. The event consisted of several sessions where media experts made presentations and moderators held active discussions on each topic.

One of the first topics of the round table was presentation of Gulnara Ibraeva “Freedom of speech in Kyrgyzsta; ethics and standards”, where the expert presented a study of the Kyrgyz-language media.
Chief Editor of the informational website Azattyk – Azamat Tynaev told about controlled virus: influence of social network on the political conjuncture and society.

Media-Commissioner Akmat Alagushev presented his topic “Media legislation of the KR: new initiatives”, where he told about planned by the Parliament initiatives.
The Advisor to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Farid Niyazov presented his report: “An innovative view of government information policy; Interaction of media and state”. Niyazov said that the media in Kyrgyzstan are more advanced and available, rather than in other Central Asian countries. Also, referring to the deputy of the Social Democratic Party Skripkina initiative, he assured the participants of the round table, that the President of Kyrgyzstan will never sign a law against freedom of expression in the media.
After the round table we heard that the deputy G.Skripkina reported on withdrawal of her initiative http://www.media.kg/news/deputat-g-skripkina-o-zavedomo-lozhnom-donose-poka-net-neobxodimosti-v-otstaivanii-zakonoproekta/. The MP said: “The proposed bill has caused a wave of indignation and outrage among journalists, experts and consultants. First for the recent time, the bill caused a real not “strained” discussion showed both journalists and the media in general are able to defend their corporate interests”. Thus, the attempts made by MPI in cooperation with other media organizations have shown their effectiveness.
For the reporting period there was prepared and distributed in mass media an article, regarding amendments and additions to several legislative acts (MPI comment to the general moments of draft laws about advertising, mass media, PTRC and Code of Administrative responsibility) http://medialawca.org/posts/12-11-2013/76508.html.
HANDOUTS:

1. The draft law on introducing amendments to the Criminal Code in article 329 “deliberately false denunciation”, initiator – Member of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic – G.Skripkina.
2. Rationale to the supplement to the Criminal Code, article.329 “deliberately false denunciation”.
3. MPI comments to the bill “Skripkina’s initiative – return to libel?”
4. The draft law «On additions and amendments to the laws on advertising, media, PTRC, the Code of Administrative Responsibility (false advertising). »
5. Help rationale to the Draft Law “On additions and amendments to the laws on advertising, media, PTRC, Code of Administrative Responsibility»

2) 12 November – a working meeting with representatives of OSCE regarding media

Participants:
OSCE – Vorobieva Anna
MPI Director – Usenova Begaim, Media Commissioner – Alagushev A., Media expert – Alisheva N.

During the meeting participants discussed a row of issue regarding media sphere of Kyrgyzstan, particularly situation around media legislation, ethical norms, self-regulation of mass media. Other ways of cooperation with OSCE were also discussed.

3) 20 November – Akmat Alagushev took part in a meeting with the head of high level Mission of Madrid club Kim Campbell

The purpose of the Mission is to promote broad dialogue of various stakeholders in the transition to digital broadcasting, as expanding the technical capabilities of digital broadcasting are calling for the KR on the creation of a new national audiovisual product.

During the visit of Canadian Ex-Prime Minister Kim Campbell, Head of Mission held a meeting at “Hyatt” hotel with experts from Kyrgyzstan, which was attended by representatives of the media community Akmat Alagushev, Marat Tokoev, Ernis Mamyrkanov. During the meeting participants discussed changes in media policy in connection with the transition to digital broadcasting in Kyrgyzstan and the possibility of changing the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic, which provides the legal framework for the transition to digital broadcasting.

Guests from abroad interested in the situation around the transition to digital broadcasting, particularly in inter-ethnic issues related to broadcasting in minority languages. Experts told the guests that there are big problems with the content in any language, including Kyrgyz.

4) 6, 26 November – lectures “Information and manipulation” in Media Literacy Course organized by Media Support Center

Begaim Usenova held a lecture entitled «Information or manipulation” in Media Literacy Course organized by Media Support Center.

The project aims to increase young people’s knowledge about communications and media through familiarization with the various branches of the media, learning to work with information: perception and information processing through the development of critical thinking skills to analyze media content and resist manipulation by the media.

The following questions were discussed during the lecture:

Do media write the truth? Are there objective media? Why do different media say opposite things? Standards of objective journalism; journalism opinions, propaganda; and self-censorship.

20 participants, 3 men, 17 women; 16 participants, 2 men, 14 women
I. Key Results This Month

Legal assistance to legislative drafters/government officials/NGOs/Media organizations

Court cases

1. In Pervomaiskiy District Court of Bishkek to defense honor, dignity and business reputation and compensate moral damage for the amount 10.000.000 soms from the newspaper “Alibi” appealed Jaichibekov P., Japarbaev О., and others. They ask to recognize untrue the information published in the article of this newspaper. Dates of hearings 02.09.2013, 09, 30 October 2013, the next date of hearing in December 6, 2013

2. In Sverdlovskiy district court in order to defend honor, dignity and business reputation and compensate moral damage in amount 10.000.000 (ten million) soms from the Chief Editor of “Uchur” newspaper Sartbaev Aslanbek appealed Jumaliev Kubanychbek. He asks to recognize untrue the information published in the article of this newspaper on July 2, 2013. Dates of hearings 28.08,17,25.09., 15 October, 21 November 2013. Dispute was resolved amicably and claimant withdrew his claim.

3. In Sverdlovskiy district court of Bishkek with a statement about criminal responsibility under article 128 of the Criminal Code (insult), against chief editor of “Uchur” Sartbaev Aslanbek, appealed Zhumaliev Kubanichbek Myrzabekovich about published July 2, 2013 article titled “Zhumaliev karyganda zhubayy Roza Amanova tashtap ketebi? ‘. Dates for consideration 03,15.10.2013, 31.10.2013. 14 November 2013 the parties achieved a peaceful statement according to it a claimant withdraws his appeal since he didn’t have any claims to the chief editor Sartbaev Aslanbek.

4. In Sverdlovskiy district court in order to defend honor, dignity and business reputation from the JSC “5th Channel”, author of the program “My history” Ksenia Kiss appealed Director of JSC “Ak-Keme” Sarymsakov Ruslan Adykanovich. He asks to recognize untrue the information in the program “My history” in a video “Where the white boat goes?” showed July 3 at “5th Channel”. Dates of hearings 30 August 2013, 31 October 2013. The next date of hearing is 12 December, 2013.

5. In Sverdlovskiy district court of Bishkek with an appeal to defend honor, dignity and business reputation and compensation of moral harm in amount 100 000 soms from the newspaper Asia-News appealed Head of Issyk-Ata district court-medical expertise Karagulov J.J. (Asia-News is a public-official, private newspaper with circulation 5000 copies). Karagulov demands to recognize information published in the newspaper untrue. Dates of consideration 23 September and 04 November 2013. The next date of consideration 27 November, 2013.

6. In Sverdlovskiy district court of Bishkek with an appeal to defend honor, dignity and business reputation and compensation of moral harm in amount 1 000 000 soms from the newspaper “Asia News” (public-political private newspaper with circulation 5000 copies) appealed Moldosheva Chinara. She asks to recognize information published in the newspaper untrue. Dates of hearings: 25 October and 04 November 1, 2013. The case was temporarily stopped in connection with the separate order to the Issyk-Kul district court.

7. In Sverdlovskiy district court of Bishkek with an appeal to defend honor, dignity and business reputation and compensation of moral harm in amount 1 000 000 soms from the newspaper “Asia News” (public-political private newspaper with circulation 5000 copies) appealed Mukambaeva Saltanat. She asks to recognize information published in the newspaper untrue. Dates of hearings: 19 November 2013. The case was temporarily stopped in connection with the separate order to the Issyk-Kul district court.

8. In Pervomaiskiy istrict court appealed leader of SDPK Party, MP of Kyrgyz Parliament Tursunbekov Chynybai Akunovich. He asks to defend his honor, dignity and business reputation and compensate a moral damage in amount of 100 000 soms to the informational agency “Kyrgyztoday.kg” and recognize as untrue information published in the article of the web resource. Dates of hearings: 08, 16 November, 2013. According to the decision of Pervomaiskiy district court the appeal was partially satisfied and moral of 10 000 soms was recovered from “Kyrgyztoday.kg”.

1. Consultations for the Central Asian website media law (written)

1. What are the reasons for refusal of a license in the field of communication laid down in the new law “On licensing system in the Kyrgyz Republic”? http://medialawca.org/posts/12-11-2013/76505.html
2. Article. Amendments and additions to some legislative acts. (Comment OF MPI to the highlights of the bill. (Laws: advertising, media, PTRC and the Code of Administrative Responsibility), http://medialawca.org/posts/12-11-2013/76508.html
3. Article for the blog. Why the media refused voluntary refutation of false information?

2. In the framework of juridical project

• Preparation of Appeal to Jogorku Kenesh of the KR about cancelation of a law draft, initiated by the Deputy G.Skriprkina “About amendments to the article 329 of the Criminal Code of the KR “deliberately false denunciation”, because it contradicts the fundamentals of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

This bill takes us back to decriminalized article on «slander». And according to the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic prosecution for disseminating information discrediting, or humiliating honor and dignity “is prohibited (Clause 5 of Article 33).

MPI appeal with comments of lawyers was submitted to the Committee on Human Rights, Constitutional Legislation and State Jogorku Kenesh , as well as heads of the fractions of JK KR.

The initiator of the bill issued a statement to the media that it will no longer defend her initiative.

• Analysis of the draft law “On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Kyrgyz Republic: media laws, broadcasting, advertising and Administrative Responsibility Code” and to prepare comments to the bill, a comment is available at
http://medialawca.org/posts/12-11-2013/76508.html

You can see the bill and other documents by the following link: http://www.kenesh.kg/lawprojects/lps.aspx?view=projectinfo&id=79710,0.

The initiators of the bill were Jogorku Kenesh.

Rationale – “the bill is designed to protect the morals, moral and ethical principles of our society and fencing citizens, including minors from inappropriate content”.

The purpose of this Bill is to ban the production and distribution of advertising of certain goods and services. And also set the administrative responsibility for the production and distribution of such advertising.

Authors of the bill propose to ban the production of advertising and distribution of advertisements aimed at:

– To involve potential victims of trafficking and “supply of organs and (or) human tissues” (media law)
– Antisocial behavior (law on advertising).
– Propoganda of weapon (Law PTRC)
– Provision of sexual services, including under the guise of psychological care, communication, relaxation , massage , good time under the guise of legitimate activities , dating to further engage in sexual acts (Act on Promotion)
– Distribution of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors (the law on advertising)
– The promotion and dissemination of pornographic materials, publications, images or other items of a pornographic nature (media law).

Passage of the bill would threaten the media, as they in their work can serve as a producer of advertising and \ or as a distributor of final advertising

For violation of the proposed additions to the legislation deputies initiate amendments and additions to the Administrative Code of the Kyrgyz Republic (Article 315 “Misleading and improper advertising”), which establishes an administrative penalty for a manufacturer of advertising, as well as its distribution.

Authors of the bill did not answer the question of how the law will help the media outlet to separate “ethical” ads from “unethical” or “false”.

Definitely, the law must state clearly for breach of which rules the offender must be punished accordingly. In this case, it seems like the work of the competent authorities to identify persons involved in illegal activities wants to be shifted to advertising producers and advertising distributors, including the media.

This bill cannot be accepted in this form. Therefore, legal commentary was prepared and distributed in the media. MPI also held a discussion of the bill at the roundtable with journalists.

3. KR Legislation inventory

Two law drafts was sent

4. Consultations and comments

• Questions from mass media, informational agencies and active bloggers, arrived on our comment on the draft law “On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Kyrgyz Republic: media laws, broadcasting, advertising and the Code of Administrative Responsibility”

– How do you assess the bill of the Deputy Imanaliev K. and his team?
– What to expect when making media parliamentary amendments to the legislation on advertising?
– Who should monitor whether the media admits irregularities in the production and distribution of advertising?
– How can the media determine that the information provided for the production of advertising, subsequently may mislead the consumer?
– What criteria will help establish media law, that a particular business activity, voiced in advertising is imaginary?
– Technically, how the media should select the “right” information given by advertiser for advertising?
– How to determine that the announcement of “providing massage services or communication” has a hidden character on the provision of sexual services?
– What, in general, the legislator means “under the guise of psychological help”, “massage”, etc.? Massage service – it’s a medical procedure, does anyone doubt this?
– On what basis the media should build their doubts when receiving material for advertising?
– How the media should distinguish drugs containing narcotic substances? And in general, is there list of such drugs and whether it is available to the media?
– What responsibility legislation now sets for improper and false advertising?

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