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Kyrgyzstan: Court Halts Printing Of Independent Daily

Bishkek, 4 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Bishkek City Arbitration Court today cancelled its decision ordering the state-run Uchkun publishing house to print an independent newspaper. Uchkun had refused to print the "Moya stolitsa-novosti" since 19 January because it said the daily newspaper had not signed a contract. The court last week ordered Uchkun to print it while an investigation took place. Uchkun refused.

Chief editor of the paper Alexander Kim told RFE/RL today that the court has now ruled that Uchkun does not have to print the paper until it renews its contract for 2002.

Kim said the new contract has been ready but Uchkun president Kanybek ImanAliyev has refused to sign it. The paper recently published several critical articles about the son-in-law of President Askar Akaev.