Journalist Temirov forcibly deported from Kyrgyzstan to Russia – DW – 11/24/2022

Bishkek court ruled for eviction Kyrgyzstan Investigative journalist Bolot Temirov was sent to Moscow as part of a criminal case for forging a military ID and manufacturing drugs with no intention of selling them, the media reported on Thursday, Nov. 24. This is reported by the Kyrgyz service of Radio Liberty, a journalist forcibly removed from the courtroom. Temirov’s lawyers pushed for his full acquittal due to the lack of corpus delicti. Temirov himself called the case “an order from the authorities” in his last speech.

Until the evening of November 23, Temirov’s lawyers could not find out where their client had been taken. It later emerged that the journalist was in the duty branch of the police at Bishkek airport in Manas. The police officers claimed that the journalist was not there, but a car was seen on the territory of the airport, in which Temirov was taken away from the court.

At about eight o’clock local time, six men took Temirov from the ward and took him to the departure lounge. At that point, boarding for the flight to Moscow was completed. During one of the court hearings, Bolot Temirov stated that in addition to the Kyrgyz passport, he also has a Russian passport.

Criminal case against Temirov

Criminal case The founder of Temirov LIVE, Bolot Temirov, was charged in January on suspicion of illegal drug possession. The office of the newspaper was searched. On January 20, the YouTube channel Temirov Live published an investigation into the alleged involvement of relatives of Kyrgyz State Security Committee head Kamchybek Tashiev in the activities of the state oil company Kyrgyzneftegaz.

In April, Temirov LIVE released a new investigation into the participation of Tashiev’s children in government tenders. After that, it became known about the initiation of new criminal cases against Temirov under articles about forgery of documents and illegal border crossing. In May, Temirov’s Kyrgyz passport was revoked.

At the end of September, the journalist was found guilty of forging a military ID to illegally obtain a Kyrgyz passport, but was acquitted in a drug case. The judge also acknowledged that the statute of limitations on the forgery had expired and that Temirov should therefore not be punished.

The position of human rights organizations

Several international human rights organizations have repeatedly called on the Kyrgyz authorities to end the prosecution of Bolot Temirov and the Kyrgyz media in general, calling the relevant criminal cases a violation of freedom of speech.

Temirov himself links the criminal prosecution to his professional activities. The journalist’s defense called the court’s decision a lawlessness.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at