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Kyrgyz Prosecutor Threatens Charges For Slandering President

Kyrgyz President Bakiev on an election poster (file photo) (RFE/RL) Bishkek, 12 January 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Uchkun Karimov, the Bishkek city prosecutor, has warned a number of Kyrgyz media outlets and politicians that unfounded criticism of President Kurmanbek Bakiev will not be tolerated.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports that Karimov referred specifically to a recently published interview in which a Moscow-based dissident, Kubanych Apas, alleged that Bakiev was connected to the murders of a member of parliament, Jyrgalbek Surabaldiev, and of a well-known stunt man, Usen Kudaiberganov.

Speaking at a press conference, Karimov warned editors that they could face charges if they ignored the warning.

Karimov also warned politicians that they also could face charges if they continued to grant interviews in which they made baseless accusations that impugned the president.

Kyrgyz editors and media rights groups have denounced the warning as a violation of freedom of speech.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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