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The chief editors of independent Kyrgyz media outlets gathered in Bishkek today to discuss the establishment of a union to protect their rights, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Participants at the meeting discussed the problems the independent mass media is facing in Kyrgyzstan. They include the blocking of several independent news websites, the suspension of the broadcasting of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz radio and TV programs, the closure of several independent newspapers, and physical attacks against journalists.

The media chiefs said the union is needed to protect their rights in the event that official pressure and harassment against them continues.

Meeting organizers told RFE/RL that government officials were invited to participate in the discussion but did not attend.
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