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On November 23, journalist Bolot Temirov, the author of corruption investigations, one of the most famous investigative journalists in Kyrgyzstan, was expelled from Kyrgyzstan to Russia. OCCRP and Bellingcat. The decision to deport him was the result of a criminal prosecution that began in January after a publication about the family of Kamchybek Tashiev, head of the State Committee for National Security (GKNB), the Kyrgyz secret service.
AT investigation project Temirov Live it was alleged that the resale of products from the state-owned Kyrgyz Petroleum Company, which is headed by Tashiev’s nephew, was profited by a company run by a woman also connected to their family. Tashievs rejected allegations of any violations.
The investigation into the Tashiyevs came out on January 20, and on January 22 Bolota Temirov detained in the case of “illicit manufacture of drugs” and “inclination to use drugs”. Companions of Temirov spokethat drugs were planted on him during his arrest at the Temirov Live office. The journalist was subsequently released on bail.
Later OCCRP, the Kyrgyz edition of Kloop and Azattyk In a joint investigation, they reported that Temirov Live employees were followed for several months, a hidden camera and microphone were found in the journalist’s apartment, and one of the employees of the investigative project was blackmailed using a sex video.
In April, after the publication new video about the Tashiev family, it became known that criminal cases had been opened against Temirov for illegally obtaining citizenship of Kyrgyzstan and illegally crossing the border (in the Ministry of Internal Affairs this called “coincidence”). The authorities claimed that Temirov, for a long time lived in Russia and having citizenship of the Russian Federation, in 2008 illegally obtained a passport of Kyrgyzstan, allegedly providing a fake military ID. Journalist rejected these accusations, saying that, being a native of the Kirghiz SSR, by law always been a citizen of Kyrgyzstan. In May Temirov informedthat the investigator illegally canceled his passport.
In defense of Bolot Temirov and other Kyrgyz journalists who are under pressure from the authorities, human rights watch and other human rights organizationsas well as media community and civil activists.
September 28 Sverdlovsk District Court of Bishkek justified Bolot Temirov on charges of illegal border crossing and articles on drugs, but found guilty of forging documents – while freeing him from punishment due to the statute of limitations. Both the journalist’s defense and the prosecutor’s office filed an appeal against this decision.
The case began to be considered by the Bishkek City Court. On November 23, he supported the decision of a lower court, but decided to expel Temirov from the country “as a foreign citizen”, writes “Kloop”. The journalist was forcibly taken away from the court, and nothing was known about his whereabouts for several hours. It was later revealed that he had been deported; on words his wife, now he is in Moscow with relatives. By words Temirov’s lawyers, they fear that the authorities’ goal could be a life-long ban on the journalist’s entry into Kyrgyzstan.
Temirov himself declared, which considers the decision of the court “revenge”. According to him, he intends to appeal this decision and “continue to work.” Intention to continue working announced and Temirov Live staff. On November 25, an action was organized in Bishkek demanding the return of Temirov to the country, writes “Cactus”. Head of the State Committee for National Security Kamchybek Tashiev commented court decision with the words “What do I have to do with it?”
Bolot Temirov was supported by a number of deputies Parliament of Kyrgyzstan “Reporters Without Borders”, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Mary Lawlor and US State Department official Ned Price.