Kyrgyzstan: media workers attacked while broadcastingEvent
- Initial Date
- Oct 6, 2020
- Event Description
Officials in Kyrgyzstan today voided the results of the October 4 parliamentary election after mass protests broke out in the capital of Bishkek and other cities. Members of several opposition parties announced plans to oust the president, according to news reports. Several journalists were attacked while covering the vote and the unrest that has followed, according to news reports and a statement today by the Kyrgyz independent nonprofit organization Media Policy Institute.
“Independent news is essential to the public during these chaotic and quickly moving events in Kyrgyzstan since the parliamentary elections,” said CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Gulnoza Said. “Kyrgyz authorities should ensure journalists can work freely and safely; law enforcement must stop attacking the press and ensure that protesters don’t target journalists either.”
Today, a law enforcement officer confiscated the phone of Ruslan Kharizov, a correspondent from independent news website 24.kg, while the journalist was using it to conduct a live broadcast of unrest in downtown Bishkek on the outlet’s Facebook page, according to news reports and Kharizov, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app. The officer came up to the journalist, cursed at him, told him that the unrest in the country was happening because of his filming, and forcefully took his phone, Kharizov said. He told CPJ that the officer deleted the last recording before the journalist got his phone back.
Later in the day, several filming crews, including Kharizov and crews from Kloop and Kyrgyz broadcaster 7 Kanal, were denied entry to the Dostuk hotel during an emergency session of the Kyrgyz parliament taking place there, according to Kharizov. Protesters organized to guard the entrance to the hotel and obstruct the journalists, Kharizov told CPJ.
Also today, during a live broadcast in front of Government House in Bishkek, a group of unknown men attacked Kloop’s film crew, according to Kloop, which published video of the attack on Facebook, and other news reports.
Also today in Bishkek, a police officer threw a stone at a journalist from Kyrgyz online broadcaster Vesti.kg, Eldos Kazybekov, according to news reports. The journalist was reporting from the scene of protests when a police officer told him to leave; when Kazybekov told the officer that he was a journalist, the former threw a stone at him, but missed, according to those reports.
As of today, hospitals in Kyrgyzstan have admitted 686 people with injuries of various degrees, according to news reports; it is unclear if there are any journalists among them.
CPJ emailed the Ministry of Internal Affairs for comment, but did not receive a response.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- Intimidation and Threats
- Restrictions on Movement
- Violence (physical)
- Rights Concerned
- Media freedom
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 6 October 2020, several media workers including Ruslan Kharizov and Eldos Kazybekov were attacked by both police and unknown individuals while live broadcasting the social unrest following the elections result, and were denied from entering the Parliament in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.