The Temirov Affair and the State of the Kyrgyz Media

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Authorities put pressure on journalists in Kyrgyzstan.

On the evening of January 22, Kyrgyz police raided the office of investigative journalist Bolot Temirov, who regularly reports on his YouTube program Temirov LIVE on corruption, often implicating powerful figures in the country.

The raid took place two days after Temirov reported allegations that relatives of the head of the State Committee for National Security (UKMK), Kamchybek Tashiev, were involved in a scheme to redirect petroleum products, skimming the benefits of the agreement.

Police claimed they found drugs on Temirov, which he said were planted on him during the raid. A subsequent blood test on Temirov showed no traces of illegal substances.

The raid was preceded by a plot to lure an employee of the Temirov program into an intimate relationship which was caught on camera, and then the video was used to try to blackmail the young woman to inform the UKMK of Temirov’s work.

In this week’s Majlis Podcast, RFE/RL’s Media Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir hosts a discussion on the campaign against Temirov LIVE, as well as the problems of Kaktus.media, an independent Kyrgyz media outlet accused of broadcasting propaganda for reposting an article. by independent Tajik media during recent clashes along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

This week’s guests are: from Sarajevo, Ilya Lozovsky, editor and editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Report Project, who worked with RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz service, known locally as Azattyk , and local Kyrgyz news site Kloop.kg to produce detailed reports about the raid on Temirov LIVE; from Bishkek, Begaim Usenova, media expert and consultant, and former director of the Media Policy Institute in Bishkek; and Bruce Pannier, analyst for Central Asia.

Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes Or on Google Podcasts.

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