Kyrgyz authorities have detained the director of the NEXT television channel over the airing of a controversial report on an alleged agreement between Bishkek and Moscow to send troops to Ukraine to assist Russian armed forces in their ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Akmat Alagushev, the lawyer for Taalai Duishembiev, told RFE/RL on March 4 that his client was detained overnight and that pretrial restrictions will be decided within 48 hours.
On March 3, the State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said that it had launched a probe against the television channel for inciting inter-ethnic hatred.
The charge stems from a recent report on the channel that quoted the exiled former chief of the Committee for National Security (KNB) of neighboring Kazakhstan, Alnur Musaev, as saying that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had agreed to support Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by sending troops to help Russia.
The television station’s owner, Ravshan Jeenbekov, has rejected the charge, insisting that the report quoted Musaev directly while giving other people’s opinions on the issue as well.
The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry has rejected the report and has called on local media outlets to base their reporting on the ongoing war in Ukraine solely on official government statements.
Source : RFE/RL