Washington — On a visit this week to Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL President Jamie Fly met with Kyrgyz Republic President Sadyr Japarov and Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev, representatives of independent news outlets, media freedom advocates, and journalism students, and spent time with RFE/RL`s local journalists to discuss the important role that RFE/RL`s journalism plays in supporting Kyrgyz democracy.
During his meetings, Fly expressed appreciation for the Kyrgyz government’s support for freedom of the press and the ability of journalists to operate in the country, noting the government’s willingness to accredit journalists covering the country and the region for several services, not least its Kyrgyz Service and Current Time digital network. He met with members of civil society and other Kyrgyz news organizations and discussed with government officials recent legislation that has raised concerns about possible encroachments on press freedom in Kyrgyzstan.
While meeting with President Japarov, Fly discussed the challenging situation facing journalists across much of Central Asia and the potential for Kyrgyzstan to play an even greater role in the region. During his meeting with Foreign Minister Kazakbaev, Fly spoke about RFE/RL plans to expand existing media projects and to create new projects serving not just the Kyrgyz Republic, but other audiences in the region. Fly also visited the American University of Central Asia, where he met with journalism students.
Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through USAGM.
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Contact Martins Zvaners
Deputy Director of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC