Freedom House says a decision by Kyrgyz authorities last week to block broadcasting and Internet access to U.S. government-funded news services underscores a "growing concern for freedom of expression in Kyrgyzstan."
RFE/RL's affiliate television station Echo of Manas halted programming on March 10 after what the U.S.-based rights watchdog said were government threats to terminate its broadcast license.
Four RFE/RL radio affiliates and two non-U.S. news websites, Centrasia.ru and Ferghana.ru, were also forced to shut down.
Freedom House said in a statement that "Kyrgyzstan once set the standard for tolerance, expression and democratic process in Central Asia."
It has called on the government to re-affirm its commitment to that standard.
With agency reports