Today the Chief Editor of the news agency “Ferghana.Ru” Daniil Kislov, within the framework of the meeting-seminar FIDH with human rights activists of Kyrgyzstan, took the floor regarding “Freedom of speech in the Central Asian region, challenges and prospects.”
“Government authorities suppress the media everywhere with such a zeal as if this is the main goal. This power is enforced through very adroit methods”, – said Daniil Kislov.
The Chief Editor of the news agency “Ferghana.Ru” explained how this pressure is placed upon the media in Central Asia:
There are arrests, complaints, and criminal proceedings against journalists literally one after another. Thus, the whole network of correspondents “Azatlyk” was undermined (Radio Freedom Europe Turkmenistan).
First of all, intimidation is used, resulting in a more subservient media since true reporters are pushed out of the country. During 15 years of our work, four of our Uzbek reporters were granted political asylum in different parts of the world. Uzbekistan has developed an internal internet media. However, their real goal is to slander any independent media.
There are recent legal actions for “power abuse” or “fraudulent information.” Moreover, journalists are tested for drug possession. Later it turns out that there were no drugs.
Over the last few months, there have been some very public raids of the media outlets. One well -known story involves the newspaper “Vechernii Bishkek,” whose property was confiscated. The most important reporters were forced to leave and organize their own media.
According to Daniil Kislov, small print media and web media cannot endure with the state channels that have an ever-increasing influence on society, “… and they do it in exchange for our taxes that we pay them” – he added.
Moreover, the Chief Editor of the news agency “Ferghana.Ru” says that an independent press is essential only for units. The possibility of a protest is inherent only for a small percentage of the population. In Central Asia, there is no demand for quality news and professional journalism.