Kyrgyz officials issue ultimatum to RFE/RL

We issued the following statement after the state broadcaster in Kyrgyzstan said it would not carry programming by the popular Kyrgyz-language service of US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty unless all content was cleared in advance with the government

“That a government selling itself to the world as reformist would blatantly demand prior censorship to keep a popular broadcaster on the air is outrageous,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “We call on the Kyrgyz authorities to abandon the Soviet mentality of censorship and immediately return RFE/RL to the airwaves. The Kyrgyz public deserves a plurality of news sources, including those ‘too negative and too critical’ of the government.”