The Ministry of Culture of Kyrgyzstan and the Service for Regulation and Supervision in the Communications Sector sent two letters to the editorial office of Kloop demanding the removal of the article “The ARIS (Community Development and Investment Agency) denies overestimating social facility building costs, as previously claimed by Orunbekov”.
It is important to note that there is neither a date nor a reference number on the decision sent by the Ministry of Culture. The date and number are only in a letter from the Service for Regulation and Supervision in the Communications Industry under the Ministry of Digital Development.In the letters, the government agencies claim that this material contains «inaccurate (false) information».At the end of one of the letters, signed by the Deputy Minister of Culture Chyngyz Esengul uulu, the Ministry of Culture writes the following:
“The Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy of the Kyrgyz Republic made a ministerial decision to remove false information on the kloop.kg website by site owner immediately from the date of the receipt of this decision at the following link: https://kloop.kg/blog/2023/01/25/aris-zayavlenie-orunbekova-o-zavyshenii-agentstvom-stoimosti-stroitelstva-sotsobektov-v-batkene-nedostoverno/
In case of non-fulfilment of this decision to remove false information on the kloop.kg website by the owner of the site within the specified time frame, the Ministry will make a decision to suspend operations of the kloop.kg website for up to two months.”
A complaint against Kloop was filed with the Ministry of Culture by the ARIS (Community Development and Investment Agency) — the main subject of the article.
Follow this link to read the received governmental letters.
What was in the article that brought on threats to block Kloop?
The content of the article follows from its title — the text said that the ARIS denies overestimating the cost of building social facilities in the Batken region.
While the ARIS statement did not mention who made the initial statement, Kloop found that the only civil servant who publicly complained about the overcharging was Daiyrbek Orunbekov, head of the Press Service of the Kyrgyz President.
Orunbekov was therefore mentioned in the Kloop article with his statement, and this is what ARIS employees did not like. For what exact reason the ARIS does not want their statement to be associated with Orunbekov’s, we do not know.
However, we are confident that journalists have the right, on the basis of their research, to interpret this sequence of events and the connection between them.
The ARIS initially contacted Kloop directly, and the journalists agreed to edit the title, but they did not remove the mention of Orunbekov from the text.
What did the first title look like?
ARIS: Orunbekov’s statement about the overestimation of the cost of construction of social facilities in Batken by the agency is unreliable
What does the current title look like?
ARIS denied the overestimation of the cost of social facilities, which Orunbekov previously stated
После повторного обращения АРИСа и полученного ими с нашей стороны отказа, они написали жалобу на нас в министерство культуры.
Our response to the authorities:
We will not delete the article. The decision to delete information on Kloop can only be made by the editorial of Kloop, but certainly not by the Ministry of Culture.
When we publish erroneous or inaccurate information, we still do not remove the material, because it would be unfair to our readers — we write an apology at the beginning of the article and notify readers about what exactly was incorrect. (Here’s an example.)
However, the news about the ARIS and Orunbekov does not contain false information, so there is no clarification or correction to be made.
In general, we consider illegal and unfair those laws adopted by the authorities of Kyrgyzstan in recent years that are used for censorship. We will not obey them because such a practice is contrary to the standards of freedom of speech and human rights.
You can block Kloop and we will be ready to challenge all your actions in court, inform our readers through dozens of other information channels, and seek the repeal of all unjust laws adopted by the authorities since 2021.
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