New Investigation Probes Drug Raid Against Kyrgyz Journalist

New Investigation Probes Drug Raid Against Kyrgyz Journalist

Some states still use cannabis prosecutions as a way of curbing journalistic independence. Here’s the latest example When Kyrgyz police stormed the office of investigative journalism outlet Temirov LIVE on January 22 and arrested chief editor Bolot Temirov on drug charges, it sounded the alarm about press freedom in Kyrgyzstan. Police arresting Bolot Temirov (Photo: Kloop) Temirov and his employees allege the police planted a packet of hashish in the journalist’s pocket during the raid, in retaliation for Temirov LIVE’s work revealing high-level corruption, including an investigation published just days earlier into security service chief Kamchybek Tashiev. Authorities say the searches were part of a legitimate criminal investigation. Temirov is currently on trial for possessing and selling drugs, falsifying documents, and illegally crossing the border, but he and rights activists say the charges are politically motivated. Now, Temirov LIVE has published its own investigation into the raid using footage from the night he was arrested. It raises serious questions about the legitimacy of law enforcement’s actions, the integrity of the charges against Temirov, and who was pulling the strings. The footage reveals that two unidentified masked men took part in the raid alongside drug police and interior ministry special forces — despite having no official role there. One, the investigation found, may have planted the drugs on Temirov and prevented the police cameraman from catching that on video. The leaders of the raid also appeared to be receiving instructions by phone, likely from the GKNB, Kyrgyzstan’s powerful security service, which is led by Tashiev. The government and GKNB have not responded to the report. To piece together the events of January 22, Temirov LIVE gathered footage from security cameras in their office building, video taken by their journalists during the raid, and footage from the police cameraman who accompanied the officers. The…

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Source : New Investigation Probes Drug Raid Against Kyrgyz Journalist

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