A lawyer in Kyrgyzstan is mounting a legal appeal with the Constitutional Chamber that she hopes could quash punitive libel lawsuits recently filed on behalf of President Almazbek Atambayev.
Klara Sooronkulova has argued that a law regulating the activities of the presidential office have been abused to persecute independent media and critics of the authorities.
One provision of the law in question enables the General Prosecutor’s Office to initiate libel actions against anybody it perceives as denigrating the honor and dignity of the president. Another states that the president is a symbol of the people and power. Sooronkulova said she wishes the Constitutional Chamber to recognize both those provisions as unconstitutional and violations of freedom of speech.
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