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Roza Otunbaeva
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz parliamentary deputy Roza Otunbaeva has called on her colleagues in parliament to resolve the issue of the broadcasting of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service in the country.

Kyrgyz authorities stopped the retransmission of RFE/RL radio and television programs in early October.

Otunbaeva, a former foreign minister, told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service that President Kurmanbek Bakiev seems to have forgotten that RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service was among the factors that helped bring him to power in March 2005.

She added that freedom of speech in Kyrgyzstan has been sacrificed for the interests of one family -- the president's -- and because of that the Kyrgyz people are being deprived of the objective information that is broadcast by RFE/RL.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to block one of the shoes from hitting U.S. President George W. Bush.
The media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is calling for the release of Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who was arrested after he threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush during Bush's visit to Baghdad on December 14.

The Paris-based media freedom group said that while it regretted that al-Zaidi used this method of protest against the politics of the U.S. president, he should be released "for humanitarian reasons and to ease tensions."

"Given the controversy surrounding this incident, we urge the Iraqi security services to guarantee the physical well-being of this journalist, who was clearly injured during his arrest," RSF said.

Al-Zaidi achieved instant notoriety for his gesture seen on television screens around the world, and thousands in Iraq and elsewhere have demonstrated for his release.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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