Law enforcement officers are seen in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on March 26, 2020. CPJ recently joined a letter expressing concern over media restrictions in the country. (Reuters/Vladimir Pirogov)
Law enforcement officers are seen in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on March 26, 2020. CPJ recently joined a letter expressing concern over media restrictions in the country. (Reuters/Vladimir Pirogov)

CPJ joins letter expressing concern about Kyrgyzstan media restrictions during pandemic

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CPJ and 23 other members of IFEX, a global network of free expression organizations, sent a letter yesterday expressing concern over the press freedom implications of Kyrgyzstan’s COVID-19 state of emergency, which has been in place since March 22.

The joint letter, addressed to the Kyrgyz president, prime minister, and speaker of parliament, called on the government to ensure that emergency legislation and existing articles of the criminal code are not used against the press.

The letter expressed particular concern over the abuse of Article 344 of the criminal code, “filing a false police report,” which has been used against social media users for allegedly sharing false information about the virus, and Article 82.2 of the state of emergency law, which provides liability for the dissemination of false information.

The full statement can be read here.