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Bishkek Court Suspends Publication Of Two Independent Newspapers

Newspaper owner Babyrbek Jeenbekov
Newspaper owner Babyrbek Jeenbekov
A court in Bishkek has ordered two independent newspapers to suspend publication for the duration of court proceedings against them.

Babyrbek Jeenbekov, the owner of the newspapers "Nazar" (View) and "Achyk Sayasat" (Open Politics), told RFE/RL he was summoned on March 17 to the Prosecutor-General's Office and informed that a case for libel will be opened against the two publications.

He also said he has received from Bishkek's Birinchi May district court written notification of the suspension of publications.

The papers had published an appeal by Jeenbekov's son Ravshan, an opposition activist in self-imposed exile in the United States. The appeal was addressed to participants in the People's Congress organized by the opposition on March 17.

Ravshan Jeenbekov accused Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev of issuing orders to police in 2002 to open fire on peaceful protesters in Aksy district. He also implicated members of Bakiev's family in corruption.

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office has qualified the appeal as mendacious and insulting to Bakiev.

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