Kyrgyz State Security Files Libel Lawsuit Against Journalist

By RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

August 25, 2014

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (UKMK) reportedly has filed a libel lawsuit against an independent journalist in the country's southern region of Osh.

Shokhrukh Saipov, a freelance correspondent, told RFE/RL on August 25 that the UKMK's lawsuit against him is related to an article he wrote that was published online in May by the news website.

The article alleged that UKMK officers extort bribes from Kyrgyz citizens who are arrested on suspicion of seeking to join Islamic militants in Syria.

According to Saipov, local UKMK branch chief Asylbek Kojobekov is seeking a payment of $20,000 in damages.

A trial has been scheduled in Osh on August 28.

The UKMK press secretary, Rakhat Sulaimanov, told RFE/RL that he has no information about the case.

But Sulaimanov insisted that allegations about bribe extortion by UKMK officers are groundless.