OSCE Media Freedom Representative Concerned Over Shutdown Of Kyrgyz Opposition TV Channel

(@FahadShabbir)

OSCE Media Freedom Representative Concerned Over Shutdown of Kyrgyz Opposition TV Channel

VIENNA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th August, 2019) Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), is concerned over the closure of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Aprel tv channel, which is owned by former President Almazbek Atambayev, OSCE said in a statement on Wednesday.

Last week, Kyrgyz security forces cordoned off and sealed the broadcaster's office in the capital city of Bishkek as part of a crackdown against Atambayev.

"I am concerned by the seizure of assets of the TV channel Aprel and the suspension of its operations. While I am fully aware of the exceptional circumstances under which this decision was taken, I call on the relevant authorities to review this decision.

Freedom of the media and media diversity should be preserved even in difficult situations," Desir said, as quoted by the statement.

The OSCE representative stressed that all actors in the state should ensure safety of political journalists.

Atambayev, who served as the president of Kyrgyzstan from December 2011 to November 2017, was arrested on August 8 after a two-day-long raid of his residence, which resulted in violent clashes between law enforcement and his supporters. One police officer was killed and around 100 people were injured. The former leader was charged with corruption, murder and other high crimes, and is currently being held in a pre-trial facility.

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