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Another Opposition Newspaper Shut Down In Kyrgyzstan

A Kyrgyz opposition newspaper said it has been ordered by a Bishkek district court today to cease publication, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Yryskeldy Mombekov, the chief editor of the newspaper "Forum," told RFE/RL that a Bishkek district court ruled today that his publication could no longer be published. The court decision was made after a district prosecutor charged that some articles in the newspaper's March 30 issue "called for the forcible overthrow of the country's constitutional system."

The court ruling was delivered today to the "Forum's" offices in Bishkek.

Mombekov says the court ruling is politically motivated. He said the authorities are cracking down on independent media outlets ahead of protests scheduled by opposition groups on April 7.

Mombekov says he will challenge the court's decision in a higher court.

Police confiscated 7,000 copies of the March 15 edition of "Forum."

Two other opposition newspapers -- "Achyk Sayasat" (Open Politics) and "Nazar" (View) -- were shut down in Kyrgyzstan last month.

Also in March, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz programs were dropped from local FM radio stations and access to the independent websites and have been blocked.

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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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