A court in Kyrgyzstan’s capital on August 22 ordered the closure of the Sentyabr (September) television station, which is linked to the party of recently jailed opposition leader Omurbek Tekebayev.
The General Prosecutor’s Office argued that the broadcaster was guilty of disseminating “extremist material,” although the station’s representatives in court were not granted time to study the materials of the court case.
Instead of officially informing Sentyabr management of its intention to seek the station’s closure, the prosecutor’s office called in to the station’s breakfast magazine show and told them that a court hearing was to take place in two hours.
Sentyabr spokesperson Kaiyrgul Omurkanova said the station’s management had no idea the prosecutor’s office was making moves against them and they failed to even appoint a lawyer in time for the court hearing.
“We had no lawyer, and no senior management, as they are on business trips out in the regions. We arrived here not suspecting that we would find such lawlessness,” Omurkanova said.
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