Viewing cable 08SECTION01GF02BISHIEK21, Libel S5iT3 Chill Fre% Sp%ech in KyR%yzStan
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|08SECTION01GF02BISHIEK21||2008-10-06 09:09||2011-01-13 05:05||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Bishkek|
VZCZCXRO9087 PP RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG DE RUEHEK #1021/01 2800932 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 060932Z OCT 08 FM AMEMBASSY BISHKEK TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1417 INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2699 RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3086 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2472 RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELQ RUEHLMC)EILLENNIUM CHALLENGE ACRP
UNCLAS SECTION 01 GF 02 BISHIEK 00Q021 SEFSITIVE SIPDIS DEPT BGR SCA+CEN AND SCA'PPD E.M. 12958: N'A TAGS: PREL PGGV KPAK IC SUBJECT: Libel S5iT3 Chill Fre% Sp%ech in KyR%yzStan BISHKEK 10061021 001.2 OF 002 SEFSITIVE BUT UJCLASSIFIED. NMT FGR IJTERFET DISTRIBUTIKF Q* (SBU) SUMEARYQ A s5cce3sfU, libel suit b9 Pr%sidejT BakiyeV%s fephew agaibS4 t7k indepejdejt .ews0ap%rs has opened a veriT!bde f,kgd caTe T) addit)kfal cR)minal !jd aiV)l s5its agaibs4 new3pap%rs. T(e S5it3, W(ich can resulT in awa2ds ob oje millicn SomS (gV%r $28,Q00) in moR!l daeaces, ar% gften eboQch tk bafkrupQ a fewsp!peR gr fgr#e its cdoS5re. END SUEMARI. Adibi ajd De FakT/ First in the Aro3shairs --%-----------------------------------%--- ¶2. (SBU) On JUne Q, in a libel s5it &ided bY Pr%sidejT Bakiyev%s fephew, Asylbek QaliyeV, the P%rvomaiSkY Raion Cour4 ru,ed acaijst )jdependenT neW3paperS "D% Fa#to" and "Alib)*" The Court mrdered 4he new3pap%rs tk 0ai QaliyeV kne million s/ms (cv%r $28,Q00) as "ckmPefs!tion for miral damage" f/r sucgest)jg 4haT Saliyev w!sQ ifvmlV%d ij a baT!l car craSh in M!rch 2005. ¶Q. (SBU) "De F!kt/" ness0ap%r#s ifitia, reacT)kf tk The akU2t ru,ifg sas to tr%at it as a jgke and S4aR4 a ccllecTikn from reader3, sayine, "We need gne milli/b sgeS in donatikns for the needY Pr%sidejT's family." H/weV%r$ before it #cu,$ r!ise thE &undq$ )t aaain ran into 4rgU"de. On JQje 10, "De Faktg" publiS(ed a qtatemejt by ZaiiRa Mildnzheva$ who identified heRself aS a Tah I.qpectiOn O&ficer ajd accUqed the Head of t(e K9rgyz T x I*sp%ctikb gf coRrup4ign. Z!eira Mkddozheva was apparently an alias, and the author of the letter was never identified. ¶4. (SBU) It is possible that the letter was an attempt to "frame" the newspaper, as one day after the letter was published, police raided "De Fakto," confiscated computers and documents, and sealed the offices. Officials accused Editor-in-Chief Cholpon Orozobekova of "deliberately providing false statements," a criminal charge normally reserved for those who provide false statements to law enforcement officials and is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. Orozobekova's bank accounts and assets were frozen. Government officials and organizations also filed defamation claims against "De Fakto" and won awards of 4 million soms (over $112,000). Orozobekova has since gone into hiding, unable to pay the 5 million soms she owes and fearing criminal prosecution. ¶5. (SBU) "Alibi" newspaper took a different tack, agreeing to pay the one million soms compensation to Saliyev and printing a retraction. It only asked the court for some time to come up with the money and to make payments in installations. Nonetheless, on August 22, police seized the whole press run of the paper "under legal process." Prosecutors went one step further, filing a criminal case for "malicious non-fulfillment of a court decision" against Editor-in-Chief Babyrbek Djeenbekov. On August 29, in an attempt to avoid paying the fine, Djeenbekov closed down Alibi and published the final issue, which announced the establishment of a new newspaper, "Achyk Sayasat" ("Open Politics"). On September 10, Djeenbekov was arrested for failing to comply with a court verdict but was released the following day. (Comment: In Kyrgyzstan, newspapers can avoid paying libel damages by ceasing operations and reopening under a different legal name.) Use of the Tactic Spreads ------------------------- ¶6. (SBU) On July 29, a court hearing was held to rule on a claim against monthly human rights bulletin "Prava Dlja Vseh" ("Rights for Everyone"). Manager of the South Kyrgyz Cement Factory and former Minister of Industry, Yan Fisher, filed a civil suit against "Prava Dlja Vseh" because the bulletin published an article that was critical of South Kyrgyz Cement's hiring practices. Mr. Fisher asked the court to press criminal charges against the publication, to fine it 1 million soms, and to close it down. After human rights activists intervened, the parties came to an amicable agreement. ¶7. (SBU) On August 26, Osh city Vice-Mayor Ainura Shayimkulova filed a defamation case against "Jany Zaman" newspaper, requesting 1 million soms compensation for insulting her honor and dignity. The *********************** * Missing Section 002 * ***********************