Armed agents with the SNB confiscated computers, hard drives, electronic documents, and CDs of digital archives, the independent regional news website Ferghana reported. Security agents also detained and interrogated Khudaiberdiyev but released him the same day after confiscating his mobile phone.
According to Ferghana, during the raid, SNB agents did not show a search warrant. Khudaiberdiyev told Ferghana that the raid paralyzed the broadcaster, which had just recently managed to re-start its programming in the aftermath of the recent ethnic violence between Kyrgyzstan’s Kyrgyz majority and Uzbek minority in the south of the country. According to Ferghana, the raid might be related to its coverage in May of an ethnic Uzbek rally in the neighboring city of Jalal-Abad, at which an Uzbek minority leader called for greater participation of Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstani politics.
“We call on the Kyrgyz security service to immediately return all confiscated materials and equipment to Osh TV and provide a public explanation for their interrogation of Khalil Khudaiberdiyev,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator
Khudaiberdiyev told Ferghana that security agents did not produce an official document to explain his detention or interrogation, and he was not charged. Daniil Kislov, Ferghana’s chief editor, who spoke to Khudaiberdiyev on Friday, told CPJ that interrogators did not ask the director any work-related questions and instead asked about the size of his family and the age of his children. Kislov told CPJ Khudaiberdiyev perceived the interrogation—which lasted for about two hours—as a tacit threat.