Uncensored: The Kyrgyzstan Project


Kyrgyzstan was once the most democratic of Central Asia’s former Soviet republics, with genuine elections, a vigorous civil society, and a vibrant media scene.

Now, all that has changed. Under a president who combines populist rhetoric with Russian-style methods of control, multiple independent media outlets have come under extreme pressure or been forced to shut down — including OCCRP’s two main partners in the country, Kloop and Temirov Live.

Kloop’s website has been blocked by authorities and the entity it uses to operate was liquidated by court order in February, with prosecutors using testimony from psychiatrists to argue that the outlet “affected people’s mental health” by “upsetting” them with negative information. Temirov Live has fared even worse: 11 of its current and former journalists were arrested in January and are still behind bars, accused of inciting unrest, although authorities have offered scant evidence for the claim. Its founder, Bolot Temirov, has been stripped of his passport and forced into exile.

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