Bishkek, 10 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A Bishkek municipal court today changed a previous court decision in the libel case against four Kyrgyz journalists from the independent Kyrgyz weekly newspaper Res Publica.
RFE/RL correspondents in the Kyrgyz capital said that Zamira Sydykova will not serve 18 months in jail but will still have to serve this time in one of Kyrgyzstan's minimum security penal colonies. Aleksandr Alayanchikov, who was also sentenced to 18 months in jail was given a one year suspended sentence. Bektash Shamshiev and Marina Sivasheva were originally both barred from practicing journalism for a period of 18 months but had their decisions overturned by the court today.
A fifth journalist, Yrysbek Omurzakov, being held on slander charges, was freed by the court today pending a new trial date. About 100 people picketed the court building during the session.