BISHKEK. A committee for defending an independent newspaper in Bishkek,
“Moia stolitsa” (“My Capital City”), held a meeting in Bishkek today. The committee appealed to President A. Akayev to protect the newspaper from persecution by the authorities. According to one of the signatories of the letter, a leader of the Kyrgyzstan Human rights movement, Tursunbek Akun, the Russian-speaking newspaper did not do anything wrong against the Kyrgyz nation's interests. The only thing which was done by the paper was just publication of materials on corruption in the country.
Tomorrow the Lenin district court of the capital city of Bishkek will start hearing against the newspaper. The plaintiff is the Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev. Prime Minister said that he was insulted by the article published by the “Moia stolitsa” on November 26, 2002. Local human rights activists say that it is a disguised method by the authorities to close an independent outlet.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Jan Barthel de Weydenthal in Prague