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Kyrgyzstan’s Draft Laws Push Independent Media, Civil Society To The Edge

On October 25, Kyrgyzstan’s draft law on noncommercial organizations was adopted by parliament in its first reading.

On October 25, Kyrgyzstan’s draft law on noncommercial organizations was adopted by parliament in its first reading. The bill has been criticized by domestic and international rights groups, but if it passes through two more readings it will become law. There is another controversial bill on media that will be reviewed soon by parliament. Both draft laws are close copies of similar laws in Russia that the Kremlin used to silence critical voices. Even without these laws being in effect, the activities of independent media outlets, and other groups, are already increasingly restricted in Kyrgyzstan. Joining host Bruce Pannier to discuss how Kyrgyzstan’s laws are being used to pressure media and civil society organizations are Jasmine Cameron, senior legal adviser for Europe and Eurasia with the American Bar Association’s Justice Defenders Program; and Aibek Askarbekov, a Bishkek-based lawyer specializing in political, civil rights, and noncommercial law.

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