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STOP RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA IN KYRGYZSTAN

 1-03-2022, 23:23
STOP RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA IN KYRGYZSTANThe Coalition for Equality, which brings together 36 civil society organizations and activists in Kyrgyzstan, has addressed the president of Kyrgyzstan and the government with an appeal to provide information about the difficult international situation.
"Our residents, who are under Russian informational pressure, receive one-sided information, and local media do not have the opportunity to cover the situation due to the lack of their own correspondents [in the conflict zone]," the statement says.
 The information war, a lot of fakes in the media, and on the Internet provoke our society to divide which can lead to negative consequences.
Members of the Coalition called on the president and government of Kyrgyzstan to ban Russian state news TV channels in Kyrgyzstan’s digital packages and replace them with local ones in order to give balanced news.
The Coalition for Equality is also addressing journalists to create more truthful reporting in local languages.




STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE AND UKRAINIAN JOURNALISTS

 25-02-2022, 23:33

 

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE AND UKRAINIAN JOURNALISTSJustice for Journalists Foundation (JFJ)andthe undersigned organisations, stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, but particularly Ukrainian journalists who now find themselves at the frontlines of a large-scale European war.

We unilaterally condemn the violence and aggression that puts thousands of our colleagues all over Ukraine in grave danger.

We call on the international community to provide any possible assistance to those who are taking on the brave role of reporting from the war zone that is now Ukraine.

We condemn the physical violence, the cyberattacks, disinformation and all other weapons employed by the aggressor against the free and democratic Ukrainian press.

We also stand in solidarity with independent Russian media who continue to report the truth in unprecedented conditions.

Join the statement of support for Ukraine by signing it here.

#Журналісти_Важливі

Signed:

 

1. Justice for Journalists Foundation

2. Index on Censorship

3. International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech "Adil Soz”

4. International Media Support (IMS)

5. Yerevan Press Club

6. Turkmen.news

7. Free Press Unlimited

8. Human Rights Center "Viasna”

9. Albanian Helsinki Committee

10. Media Rights Group, Azerbaijan

11. European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

12. Association of European Journalists

13. School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia

14. Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan

15. Reporters Without Borders, RSF

16. Association of Independent Press of Moldova, API

17. Public Association "Dignity”, Kazakhstan

18. PEN International

19. Human Rights House Foundation, Norway

20. IFEX

21. UNITED for Intercultural Action

22. Human Rights House Yerevan

23. Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor, Armenia ??

24. Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, Norway

25. Society of Journalists, Warsaw

26. The Swedish OSCE-network

27. Hungarian Helsinki Committee

28. Legal policy research centre, Kazakhstan

29. Public Foundation Notabene – Tajikistan

30. HR NGO "Citizens’ Watch – St. Petersburg, Russia

31. English PEN

32. Public organization "Dawn” – Tajikistan

33. International Press Institute (IPI)

34. The Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan

35. ARTICLE 19

36. Human Rights House Tbilisi

37. Rights Georgia

38. Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center. Azerbaijan

39. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

40. Bulgarian Helsinki Committee

41. Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)

42. European Federation of Journalists

43. Social Media Development Center, Georgia

44. Populus Rei, Georgia

45. OBC Transeuropa

46. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

47. Journalists Union YENI NESIL, Azerbaijan

48. Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) , Istanbul

49. Baku Press Club

50. Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development Premium Times

51. Union Sapari

52. The Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ)

53. Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, Armenia

54. FEDERATIA SINDICATELOR DIN SOCIETATEA ROMANA DE RADIODIFUZIUNE, Bucharest, ROMANIA

55. CD FILMS (FRANCE)

56. CFDT-Journalistes

57. Belarusian Association of Journalists

58. SafeJournalists network

59. Association of Journalists of Kosovo

60. Association of Journalists of Macedonia

61. BH Journalists Association

62. Croatian Journalists’ Association

63. Independent Journalists Association of Serbia

64. Trade Union of Media of Montenegro

65. Analytical Center for Central Asia (ACCA)

66. Trade Union of Croatian Journalists

67. European Press Prize

68. Ethical Journalism Network

69. European Journalism Centre

70. Slovene Association of Journalists

71. Investigative Studios

72. PEN Belarus

73. Public Media Alliance (PMA)

 





INTERNSHIP OPEN CALL

 1-09-2021, 09:46

INTERNSHIP OPEN CALLThe School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia announces an annual competition among students from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and any countries, studying journalism and mass communication, law, cultural studies, and anthropology, to participate in research and media monitoring projects.

Over the past five years, more than 50 students have completed research internships.

 

This internship is scheduled for the period from December 15 to January 20, 2022.

In some cases, a student can start an internship earlier.

Due to the epidemiological situation, it is likely that an internship will be carried out in a distance format.

 

The selected interns will be trained in new analytical tools, will have access to databases, and together with the team, will conduct a few studies.

Participation in the project is a good practice, upon completion of which an internship confirmation letter will be issued. An important criterion for selecting interns is language proficiency, perseverance, attentiveness, a clear application of methodology and indicators in practice, a desire to work with large amounts of information.

Participation in the project is a good practice, upon completion of which an internship confirmation letter will be issued. An important criterion for selecting interns is language proficiency, perseverance, attentiveness, the use of methodology and indicators during research, a desire to work with large amounts of information on the Internet.

 

Topics for this year:

 

COVID-19 pandemic and information manipulation

 

Electoral processes

 

Xenophobia and hate speech

 

Terrorism Threats and Media Narratives

 

A letter of motivation and a CV indicating the contacts of at least two referees should be sent to peacemakingandmediaca@gmail.com until 18:00 Bishkek time, December 5, 2021, marked "For internship".

 

Applications sent after this deadline will not be considered. The team does not comment on the selection methods and does not respond to letters of inquiry after the end of the call.

 

The School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia announces an annual a competition among students from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and any countries, studying journalism and mass communication, law, cultural studies and anthropology, to participate in research and media monitoring projects.

Over the past five years, more than 50 students have completed the research internships.

 

This internship is scheduled for the period from December 15 to January 20, 2022.

In some cases, a student can start an internship earlier.

Due to the epidemiological situation, it is likely that an internship will be carried out in a distance format.

 

The selected interns will be trained in new analytical tools, will have access to databases and, together with the team, will conduct a few of studies.

Participation in the project is a good practice, upon completion of which an internship confirmation letter will be issued. An important criterion for selecting interns is language proficiency, perseverance, attentiveness, a clear application of methodology and indicators in practice, a desire to work with large amounts of information.

Participation in the project is a good practice, upon completion of which an internship confirmation letter will be issued. An important criterion for selecting interns is language proficiency, perseverance, attentiveness, the use of methodology and indicators during research, a desire to work with large amounts of information on the Internet.

 

Topics for this year:

 

COVID-19 pandemic and information manipulation

 

Electoral processes

 

Xenophobia and hate speech

 

Terrorism Threats and Media Narratives

 

A letter of motivation and a CV indicating the contacts of at least two referees should be sent to peacemakingandmediaca@gmail.comuntil 18:00 Bishkek time, December 5, 2021 marked "For internship".

 

Applications sent after this deadline will not be considered. The team does not comment on the selection methods and does not respond to letters of inquiry after the end of the call.

About the organization: The School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia is an organization for the development of media and relations with the public, the promotion of freedom of expression, and the fight against hate speech and discrimination in the media. It specializes in media studies and expert reviews of online content and intolerant language in the media, on the internet, and in public discourse; creating media campaigns on sensitive issues; and trainings for journalists, activists, online content creators, and human right defenders, including those in conflict zones. Starting from 2011, the team of the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA has issued 24 reports and a package of recommendations based on the results of monitoring and hate speech researches in various areas[1].www.ca-mediators.net; https://www.facebook.com/peacemakingS/; peacemakingandmediaca@gmail.com





The World Press Freedom Day -2021

 3-05-2021, 19:15

The World Press Freedom Day -2021The media should help the society better know the online environment. It is important to detect the reliable sources, differentiate between quality information, facts and fakes, carry out unbiased journalistic investigations amid the existing hate speech, trolling and disinformation.

The School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA with the support of the Media K Internews (Kyrgyzstan) documents cases of verbal aggression in the online environment as part of the ongoing monitoring and analysis of hate speech.

The hate speech dynamics in public space demonstrates that it remains at a high level.

The results gathered as of the World Press Freedom Day showed that almost one-third part of the monitored content contained hate speech in various forms. It was especially noticeable in online discussions about the referendum on amendments to the constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, local and extraordinary presidential election that was held in 2021[1].

The outbreak of intolerance and distorted information was found in the last days of April 2021 amid messages about the armed conflict in the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border.

The intense public and political agenda of Kyrgyzstan aggravated by the crisis during the COVID-pandemic encourages the journalists and internet users to voice their opinions more actively. However, it is often accompanied by fake news, unverified information and deliberate misrepresentation of information.

Amid this situation, the experts reported correlations between hate speech, trolling and not always reliable messages that are spread in social media both by identified and fake accounts. Endless data flows, verbal aggression, disinformation make the audience doubt whether information is reliable. Therefore, journalistic investigations about facts, scope of distribution of such information, its actors and purposes are highly required.

The media should play the key role by using new approaches of creating and distributing content to protect and promote truthful information, by encouraging the audience to improve their media literacy skills and to offer opportunities, to evaluate information critically.

The World Press Freedom Day means to raise awareness of governments and the society on the need to respect and protect human rights to the freedom of expression, and to highlight the importance of complying with high standards and ethics for journalists, internet content creators. It will help improve the information ecology and create long-term measures to respond to hate speech and fake news.



[1]Hate speech on the internet during early presidential election in Kyrgyzstan, January 2021, http://ca-mediators.net/ru/ru_news/5396-yazyk-vrazhdy-i-sarkazm-v-internete-v-period-dosrochnyh-prezidentskih-vyborov-v-kr.html

 





Central Asia’s “Digital Authoritarianism”

 3-05-2021, 18:58
 
Central Asia’s “Digital Authoritarianism”The pandemic has allowed the authorities to further abuse technology and restrict freedom of speech.

The restrictions around coronavirus have made people around the world more reliant on the internet as a means of communication – often involving criticism of how the authorities have handled the crisis. Attempts by governments in Central Asia to suppress such censure have generated even more discontent, highlighting ongoing debates about online expression in the region.

IWPR: The pandemic and lockdown have made people spend more time online. Based on this, has Covid-19 influenced the level of internet freedom of speech in Central Asia? 

Inga Sikorskaya: The period of the pandemic has become one of the gloomiest for freedom of speech in Central Asia. The authorities have responded with strict restrictive measures that suppressed freedom of speech and the press and increased the risks of threats and attacks against journalists and bloggers, especially those who wrote about coronavirus.

On the one hand, we became dependent on digital technologies. On the other, many measures affected internet freedom as it became the main platform for sharing information during social isolation.  

The authorities silenced journalists and refused to accredit media outlets when they covered coronavirus during the lockdown. In Kyrgyzstan, in March-April 2020 the authorities forced bloggers to apologise for criticism that the government had responded poorly to the pandemic. 

In Uzbekistan in July 2020, a security agency supervisor forced the administrator of the Troll.uz Telegram channel to delete a post about corruption during the pandemic. In another case, unknown people called bloggers and reminded them of their criminal liability for "spreading panic” in posts about coronavirus.

Insults and threats were directed against independent journalists in Tajikistan who reported on Covid-19 when the authorities denied there were any coronavirus cases in the country. A range of independent web resources were blocked and access to information restricted.

What are the dynamics and changes that Covid-19 brought to the sphere of hate speech? 

The level of hate speech in the media and on the internet has increased slightly during social isolation because of the increase in comments from people who shifted to the online sphere. 

The situation increased the growth of xenophobia and Islamophobia. According to the results of our last survey on the influence of Covid-19 on discrimination, the main targets of hate attacks online in Kyrgyzstan were Muslim pilgrims who returned from hajj just before lockdown. Some users not only accused them of spreading coronavirus, but also urged other people to punish them.

Another target group among hate distributors were ethnic Chinese, the main target of media xenophobia in Kazakstan. In Uzbekistan, there was online hate speech against migrant workers who returned due to the pandemic.

In fact, the dynamics remain the same as in previous years. The only change is in the amount of recorded hate speech against various social groups and the political context that affected narratives of intolerance in the public space.

For example, in Kyrgyzstan – which experienced a disputed parliamentary election, an extraordinary presidential election, a referendum and political shock - hate speech spread on the internet much faster than in quieter neighbouring countries.

How would you evaluate the authorities’ attempts to regulate the internet and make users liable for their actions? How can we solve the problem of malicious behaviour via fake accounts? 

Most of the methods that are used to regulate the internet in Central Asia are authoritative and promote censorship. This trend can be seen in other states that experience digital authoritarianism. Instruments are used to strengthen social and political control and to suppress civil liberties. Despite the fact that digital society does suffer from fakes, the implementation of technologies related to online control and regulation requires guaranteed personal data confidentiality and the rule of law. It is difficult to assume that the governments of Central Asian countries will be willing to do this.
 
Therefore, the problem of fake accounts is best solved by cooperating with technology companies, digital giants such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. These companies are already actively involved in this issue, developing new algorithms, rules, promoting openness, transparency and their own regulatory mechanisms [alongside] freedom of expression. 

How do government’s restrictions affect the work of journalists, bloggers, activists – all those who use the internet for legitimate and free discussion? How should the media community solve these problems? 

Recent trends show a steady decline in internet freedom for several years in a row. There are three main challenges that will further threaten the freedom and development of journalism in Central Asia.

Firstly, this is an increase in the level of online threats, which continue in the offline environment. During the election campaigns of 2020 and 2021 in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakstan, journalists and Internet activists faced an increase in bullying, attacks and seizure of equipment while covering political processes live on the internet.

Therefore, more attention needs to be paid to the digital and physical security of media workers and all fighters for the freedom of expression.

Secondly, there are disinformation campaigns organised on the internet which often aim to entrap the media or active users. This is directly related to a digital tribalism trend. This is when discussion group members or trolls evaluate information not on the basis of compliance with generally accepted standards of evidence or common understanding, but on the basis of whether it supports the values and goals of a given digital tribe and whether this information is confirmed by their leaders.

The third challenge is the continued use of hate speech on social media platforms and under articles by online news agencies. Most of the documented incidents fall under the umbrella of freedom of expression and, if necessary, are regulated by the development of correct polemics, education and social disapproval.

However, there is a danger that the dissemination of hateful content could provoke outbreaks of offline violence against minorities and social groups. Therefore, the media community must act carefully here, with an understanding of the flexible structure of hate speech so as not to cause a baseless attack on freedom of expression. 

What other challenges do defenders of online freedom face in Central Asia? 

The pandemic has changed not only attitudes but also technologies. Censorship will grow through the expansion of technology and the export of digital authoritarianism in Central Asia's big neighbours, Russia and China. The surveillance and control of internet freedom advocates will grow. This challenge to democratic principles and human rights shows that we are moving in the opposite direction. Only new, alternative strategies can win.

These can be joint programmes of digital companies, media, civil society and governments, which must agree on a basic set of rules and values, taking into account the importance of preserving freedom of expression for the development of an open and inclusive society.

Timur Toktonaliev is IWPR’s Central Asia editor.


 

Inga Sikorskaya, a former senior IWPR editor for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, now heads the School of Peacemaking and Media Technologies research organisation. She warns that government responses to freedom of speech amid the crisis heralds a worrying trend for future attempts to control online expression.

 






FEMALE JOURNALISTS AND ACTIVISTS HAVE TRAINED TO FIGHT AGAINST GENDER STEREOTYPES

 21-02-2021, 21:53


FEMALE JOURNALISTS AND ACTIVISTS HAVE TRAINED TO FIGHT AGAINST GENDER STEREOTYPESFemale journalists and activists have discussed the situation with gender stereotypes and stigma on the Internet and have learned to understand discrimination and tools to counter, assess risk factors to improve their psycho-emotional state during aggression in the online sphere.

The workshop was organized by the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia with the support of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

Women participants from different regions of Kyrgyzstan have gathered at the training organized under the project designed to promote gender equality and women’s rights via monitoring, documenting, analysis of the level of stereotypes, stigma regarding women in the media, on the Internet and public discourse.

 

Female journalists and activists, many of whom encounter threats, aggression, and stereotypical behavior in their professional activities have learned about modern methods of detection of gender intolerance on the internet, preventive techniques and ways to mitigate negative consequences.

Women participants have trained to determine the kinds of discrimination and to discern between them during group practice sessions on detection and classification of discrimination.

The last session focused on the analysis of psycho-emotional state of journalists and activists during their work. Many participants have understood how to use their innate resources and to organize mental self-help by means of analytical exercise and interactive discussion designed to detect risk factors and develop personal defense mechanisms.

The research "Gender stereotypes in the media sphere of Kyrgyzstan” was also presented during the event. It demonstrated frequently used stereotypes, intolerance and threats regarding women in Kyrgyzstan.

The participants of the event discussed the recommendations prepared on the basis of the research. The recommendations will be directed to the authorities, the media, and civil society organizations.


 

 





HATE SPEECH AND SARCASM IN THE 2021 KYRGYZSTAN PRESIDENTAL ELECTION

 10-02-2021, 21:59

 

HATE SPEECH AND SARCASM IN THE 2021 KYRGYZSTAN PRESIDENTAL ELECTIONSchool of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia with the support of Media K Internews in the Kyrgyz Republic Project presents the "Hate Speech and Sarcasm in the 2021 Kyrgyzstan Presidential Election Discourse ” research held from December 15, 2020 to January 20, 2021.

 

The research was aimed to find hate speech in the discussions about early presidential election in Kyrgyzstan based on multilingual media monitoring and content analysis of selected online media outlets and social media. The level of reported hate speech during the presidential election campaign was two times less than that during the parliamentary election. However, it does not mean that the society’s culture of polemic or the level of network ethics has increased.

Experts explain it by passive election campaign, "early” election, undifferentiated list of candidates, "social burnout” of journalists, users, speakers because of a lot of public and political events that reflected on lower concern for the events and affected the public discourse. The researchers have studied the hate speech trends and dynamics, classified it by types of intolerance and identified reasons of prevalence of one trend over another one.

Moreover, a range of ironic and sarcastic comments and images containing obscene vocabulary, slang, discriminatory expressions was found on social media and forums posted under materials in online media outlets. Sarcasm was often used to add to the negative public perception of a certain individual and to disguise hate speech.

Also, flawed arguments that caused discrepancies in wording, distortion of opponents’ positions were reported in online discussions and in the media. This type of hate speech was revealed in anti-western rhetoric, drawing false parallels between candidates and various identities, formation of dehumanizing metaphors based on comparison of people and animals, according to the report.

The experts recommend developing and implementing public awareness campaigns regarding the efficiency of tolerant technologies in public discourse, continuing to introduce editorial media practices of politically correct vocabulary and stylistics based on pluralism of opinions and freedom of expression. Also, minority, social and discriminated groups must have a voice, and the public awareness on constitutional rights should be raised. In addition, responsible work with comments (moderation, pre-moderation) posted under articles published in the media must be promoted among journalists.

 

 

 

 





ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN KYRGYZSTAN

 3-12-2019, 17:31

ATTACKS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN KYRGYZSTANSchool of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia condemns the attacks on freedom of expression in Kyrgyzstan. Two events has been taken place in the past few days indicate the desire of the authorities to control both offline and online content.

 

On December 2, 2019, the Kyrgyz authorities, under pressure of fringe radical groups, cracked down on the1st Feminnale of Contemporary Art international exhibition "Kormilitsa”. Economic freedom. Woman” that was held in the G.Aitiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts in Bishkek.

 

According to local media, it happened after the museum’s staff, organisers of the exhibition received threats and after the meeting between a far-right ultra-nationalists groups with the minister of culture of the Kyrgyz Republic[1]. The fringes demanded that expositions that, in their opinion, "were contrary to the mindset of the Kyrgyz people” be closed.

Among the display exhibits, there was a performance – a girl that was washing sheep casings in a bowl and a naked woman, who symbolised the powerlessness and vindication of the rights of women.

These very exhibits were censored, found "provocative” by a specially established committee by the ministry of culture, and then take away from the exhibition. Thus, the agency, under pressure of fringe aggressive groups, used censorship to restrict the artistic freedom.

There are articles 31 and 33 its guarantees every citizen the right to freely seek, obtain, distribute information and exercise the freedom of expression in the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic. International conventions ratified by Kyrgyzstan encourage creation and to support the artistic freedom as a freedomto imagine, create and distribute diverse cultural expressionsfreeof governmental censorship, political interference or the pressures of non-state actors for further development of contemporary art and encouragement of human rights.

 

We call on the authorities to refuse any attempts of content control because the Kyrgyzstan’s society has grown out of censorship a long time ago and lives in the age of freedom of expression and media freedom and can able to estimates of contents its own.

This also refers to the recent fact of restriction of the Internet freedom of expression by reason of critical comments were posted.

On November 24, 2019, Avtandil Zhorobekov, an administrator of the Facebook page "BespredelKG”, was arrested and placed into the pre-trial detention facility of GKNB [State National Security Committee]. A criminal case was initiated against him for "inciting interregional discord” and distribution of "knowingly false and provocative information about the head of the state”. The reason was the comments to the posts, which mentioned the persons discussed in the journalistic investigation of smuggling and corruption at the customs service[2].

GKNB claimed these statements allegedly "made people feel hatred toward each other in the form of interregional discord.” However, it’s unclear who and how qualified this discord, how it manifested itself, what media content was analysed, what verified methodology was applied, and what is the expert knowledge of experts who qualified it as incitement of interregional discord.

Many questions arose especially because the arrest of the administrator of BespredelKG occurred amid the scandal with corruption schemes following the journalistic investigation was published.

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia calls on the Kyrgyz authoritiesto stop repressive practices against the freedom of expression, to stop exerting pressure on online discussions in order to enforce censorship among users.

about: School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia is a media development and media communicationorganisation, encouragement of freedom of expression diversity and human rights, and countering the hate speech. It focuses on studies and expert reviews of online content, hate speech in media, on the internet and in public discourse, holding media campaigns on sensitive issues, trainings for journalists, activists and online content creators, including in conflict areas. For more information see:www.ca-mediators.net https://www.facebook.com/peacemakingS/e-mail: peacemakingschool@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 





FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL ASIA-2019

 6-05-2019, 00:41

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL ASIA-2019

  Inveterate low scorers: level of the freedom of expression in Central Asian states is below 4

 

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in CA published a report "FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CENTRAL ASIA: TRENDS AND PECULIARITIES-2019.”

 

The full report in Russian is available at http://ca-mediators.net/ru/ru_news/5309-svoboda-vyrazheniya-v-centralnoy-azii-regionalnye-trendy.html

This research differs from previous ones by a wider focus on the freedom of expression, and the authors didn’t focus on the media freedom level only. Comments on own or public affairs, public opinion polls, discussion of human rights, journalism, expression of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identities, creative self-expression, topics and discussions at various events and trainings are the examples of the forms of expression, so they were tested for the purpose of rankings.

The researchers prepared this index on a 5-point scale, where 5 - excellent; 4 - good; 3 - fair; 2 - poor; 1- very poor.

Turkmenistan holds the worst position in the Central Asia. Respondents and researchers summarised all data and put this country to the lowest place by giving it a 1. "1” means the legitimate freedom of expression, yet it cannot be exercised. People have no alternative sources of information, content is widely blocked, people don’t take part in political discussions because of fear of repressions[1].)

Tajikistan has 2 in the freedom of expression and follows Turkmenistan as it has blocked access to independent web sites and social media, while the level of censorship in the media remain very high. The authorities strengthen online censorship when the social and political situation in the country gets tense[2].

Despite positive changes in Uzbekistan emphasised by some international indexes, namely release of journalists who had been arrested during Karimov’s regime from prison, this country of "nominal shift of power” keeps controlling internet and censoring the users.

Somewhat more than "2” in the index means that respondents think there’s still a long way to go before the real improvement of the freedom of expression situation[3].

A critical situation with the freedom of expression has developed in Kazakhstan; the country was given a bit above 2 in this index. On April 21, 2019, two activists – Asiya Tulesova and Beibaris Tolymbekov – were detained in Almaty for 15 days for holding a banner with a slogan "You cannot run from the truth – I have a choice”[4]. It happened during the marathon with 17 thousand participants, when the activists were holding a banner along the route and expressed their opinion that way. The sports campaign was dedicated to the presidential election to be held in Kazakhstan this June[5].

Kyrgyzstan, which takes the highest position – 3+, and cannot reach 4, adopts the methods used in neighbouring countries to repress freedom of expression[6].

 

The level of the freedom of expression in Central Asia states was assessed by experts according to the following 5-point scale:

5 Freedom of expression is encouraged, democracy is thriving, lack of censorship, understandable legislation, citizens express their opinions openly.

4 Freedom of expression is encouraged, access to information is available, citizens take part in political discussions, existing legislation, yet interpretation and enforcement issues remain; improvement of the skills of media literacy, media culture and network ethics.

3 Freedom of expression is secured in legislation, access to information is partially available, information is filtered, citizens take part in political issues discussions on online platforms only, communications are not protected, content may be blocked partially to restrict the freedom of expression, users may be interrogated for their statements.

2 Freedom of expression is secured in legislation, access to information is limited via various mechanisms, including countering dissent, citizens rarely express their opinion on political issues, detentions and arrests for expression of opinions are practised.

1 Freedom of expression is secured in legislation, yet not implemented, people have no alternative sources of information, content is widely blocked, citizens don’t take part in political discussions because of fear of repressions.

Opinions of respondents about the improvement of the freedom of expression:
84% of 100% of respondents think political changes, more freedoms and media pluralism are needed;
79% of 100% are confident that the existing laws may be enforced by political will;
63% of 100% spoke about the need to change the laws and make the authorities and the society follow them;
49% of 100% think the freedom of expression will expand further without internet blocking because it has immense limits;

33% of 100% hope more on the active civil society with a sustainable stance and capacities to promote the freedom of expression;

16% of 100% said the society should seek the freedom of expression;
4% of 100% were pessimistic and said nothing could be done to change the current situation.

Main trends influencing the freedom of expression in central Asia

One of the trends that has a negative influence on the freedom of expression in Central Asian states is the existing law enforcement practice based on wide interpretation of the incitement of hatred and hostility in local criminal statutes (1), which makes them even more dangerous. Kazakhstan is the leader in the region in the restriction of the freedom of expression by charging journalists, users and activists with the incitement of various kinds of hatred[7].Misuse antiextremism (2) is the second trend used to restrict the freedom of expression in the majority of Central Asian states in the contexts of the above statutes. On the one hand, it is due to the vague wording of the definition of "extremism” in local laws, which is the heritage of criminal statutes of the former Soviet Union. On the other hand, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which comprise a military-political bloc, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) supervised by Russia, use the common anti-extremist legislation, where such vague concepts enable their misuse to restrict the freedom of expression. The on-going references to the threat of extremisms/terrorism trend allow Central Asian authorities to block online resources.

The growing penetration of the internet in Central Asia, the increase in the number of users created third trend - implementation of user-generated content into professional journalism (3). And finally, researchers recorded rather high level of propaganda and hate speech (4) in the media. However, despite the fact that government propaganda is reported in media outlets of all five Central Asian states, hate speech prevails in Kyrgyzstan, to a lesser extent it exists in Kazakhstan, and is almost missing in the media outlets in other countries.

 

About methodology: The level of the freedom of expression was determined based on the findings of annual media monitoring for hate speech in public discourse, surveys and in-depth interviews with journalists, editors and media specialists of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and analysis of journalistic articles and user generated content based on a special scale, as well as reports about media situation. 2,189 documented media texts and visual content were analyzed in total, which were published on 79 open media resources. Also, verbal and written surveys were held and covered 500 respondents, including journalists, editors, bloggers, human rights activists of the five countries. Moreover, we used opinions of nearly 700 participants of trainings and conferences conducted by the School of Peacemaking in 2018-2019 about the current level of the freedom of expression and threats in Central Asian states. All comments were documented, processed by experts of the media monitoring application, and then systematised for the general rating. Guests of on-going open consultations on the freedom of expression and hate speech regularly held by the School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia contributed to the rating. Their opinions were taken into account when assessing the basic level of the freedom of expression and cases of its restriction.

 

The freedom of expression is reviewed in the report in several aspects:

An opportunity to seek, obtain and distribute information regardless of boundaries, including on the internet;

The level of media pluralism, tolerance to a variety of manifestations of the freedom of expression;

Admissible criteria of the rhetoric of hate according to the local laws and contexts;

Available restrictions of the right of the freedom of expression.

 

 

 

 


[2] For more information, please see full report at the link)

[3]For more information, please see full report at the link

[5]For more information, please see full report at the link





INACTION IN INVESTIGATION OF I.SIKORSKAIA’S CASE TO BE APPEALED IN COURT

 18-03-2019, 00:16

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia hereby appeals to the authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic to expedite the issue of orders for expert examination and to conduct impartial investigation of a traffic accident that occurred on November 24, 2018 under strange circumstances, which resulted in injuries and brain concussion of programme director Inga Sikorskaia.

So far, the investigation has not issued order for two forensic psychiatric examinations on this traffic accident case.

 

On February 8, 2019, Zamir Zhooshev, lawyer of Precedent Partner Group, counsel for the plaintiff, requested the Bishkek GUVD [Chief Directorate of Internal Affairs] to carry out two forensic psychiatric examinations of the driver who committed the traffic accident and of the victim. Under the law, an order for or denial of examinations should have been issued after the request.

However, the counsel has not received any response from the investigator at the time of this press release.

The request for forensic psychiatric examination of the victim was made due to the fact that the Republican Centre for Forensic Examination of the Kyrgyz Republic "refused to determine the severity of the harm inflicted to health of I. Sikorskaia (as written in the report) and at the same time doubted the diagnosis made by a neurologist of a Bishkek-based MEDI clinic "Brain concussion”, which resulted in retrograde amnesia, after which I. Sikorskaia was treated for one and a half months.

Another diagnosis, "post-commotionsyndrome”, was made to the victim in the Republican Mental Health Centre, where she was prescribed a course of treatment and recommended an attenuated regimen for three months.

The victim, in her initial statement, requested for forensic psychiatric examination of the Namba taxi driver, who committed the traffic accident. The driver, according to her, "didn’t know the route, didn’t understand where to go, arbitrarily changed the route and didn’t take any measure to avoid the accident on a half-empty road.”

 

We are concerned with the sluggishness and uncertainty of the investigation.

 

We received the report of the Republican Centre for Forensic Examination of the Kyrgyz Republic on the health condition of I. Sikorskaia from the traffic accident investigator of GUVD of Bishkek, Police Lieutenant Colonel S. Booronbaev on January 25, 2019 despite the fact that medical examination of the victim was conducted on December 7, 2018.

 

On December 19, 2018, Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, during his visit to Kyrgyzstan, raised the issue of a strange traffic accident with I. Sikorskaia at the meeting with the relevant committee members of Kyrgyz Parlament.

 

On December 9, 2018, the Coalition for Security Issues and Defence of Human Rights Defenders in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) requestedK.A. Dzhunushaliev, minister of interior affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, to take all reasonable efforts to protect the rights of I. Sikorskaia and to assist in the impartial investigation of the traffic accident.

 

On December 6, 2018, Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, during his meeting with Chingiz Aidarbekov, minister of foreign affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, in Milan (Italy), pointed the need to expedite the investigation of this accident. In turn, the head of the ministry assured this case would be followed up.

 

Inga Sikorskaia is a prominent journalist, human rights defender, researcher and speaker on freedom of expression, combating hate speech, anti-discrimination and trainer on media freedom. She is a regular participant of UN, OSCE conferences on the freedom of speech, human rights, conflict-sensitive matters, an author of a range of articles and study guides. In March 2018, she was deniedentry to Turkmenistan, where she should have participated at the OSCE conference.

Since 2017, I. Sikoskaia has been under pressure for her professional activities. Kyrgyz authorities blacklisted Sikorskaia to control her movement abroad. From April 2017, she was closely checked at the border 19 times.Moreover, in June 2018, after such complicated check, her photo in international passport was damaged ripped off.

 

School of Peacemaking and Media Technology in Central Asia, where I. Sikorskaia is a programme director, promotes the freedom of speech, hate speech researches and examinations, implements training programmes on countering the propaganda of extremism through media, encouraging diversity, developing independent media sphere.

 








  • Военные возле рынка запчастей в во время массовых беспорядков, г. Ош, июнь 2010 год

  • Участники тренинга по медиации и урегулированию конфликтов строят "Башню мира", Бишкек, апрель, 2011 год

  • Тренинг для журналистов по разрушению стереотипов, Бишкек, апрель, 2012 год

  • Семинар по производству командных репортажей в мультинациональных журналистких группах, Бишкек, август, 2012 год



Карта инцидентов




Образование и тренинги


ИНСТРУМЕНТЫ ЖУРНАЛИСТИКИ МИРА ПРИ  ОСВЕЩЕНИИ КОНФЛИКТОВ

Мир = ненасилие + творчество. В таком мире дискуссии и переговоры помогают компромиссному решению проблем, а СМИ становятся площадкой для обмена…

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КАК ОСВЕЩАТЬ АФГАНСКУЮ ПРОБЛЕМУ: СМИ ДОЛЖНЫ ОРИЕНТИРОВАТЬСЯ НА МИР, А НЕ НА КОНФЛИКТ

 

КАК ОСВЕЩАТЬ АФГАНСКУЮ ПРОБЛЕМУ: СМИ ДОЛЖНЫ ОРИЕНТИРОВАТЬСЯ НА МИР, А НЕ НА КОНФЛИКТ После того, как к середине августа боевики движения «Талибан» контролировали большую часть Афганистана, без боя взяли Кабул, а президент Ашраф Гани сбежал из страны,  весь остальной мир сейчас переосмысливает произошедшее, судя по кадрам на телеканалах и в онлайн СМИ.  Страны тем временем решают, каким образом выстраивать внешнеполитические отношения с новыми правителями Афганистана, а также что делать с беженцами, поток которых, предположительно, хлынет из страны. Перед журналистами Центральной Азии встал вопрос : как освещать эту проблему?

 

 

Инга Сикорская, Директор Школы миротворчества и медиатехнологий в Центральной Азии, эксперт, медиа-тренер, журналист,  автор ряда исследований и академических курсов по журналистике мира и конфликта, серии учебников и тренингов специально для Медиашколы CABAR.asia рассказала о том, как СМИ Центрально-Азиатского региона должны освещать ситуацию, чтобы не усиливать в обществе ксенофобию в отношении беженцев и не только.

– Как журналисты должны писать о беженцах?

– Согласно стандартам освещения многообразия, куда также относятся такая социальная группа как «беженцы» (люди, которые уже имеют статус), «лица ищущие убежища» и «вынужденные переселенцы» (те, кто вынужденно переместился в определенную страну из-за страха за свою жизнь и ищут статуса беженца) журналист сначала должен проанализировать, как СМИ освещали эту проблему и определить пробелы.

Нередко СМИ пишут о таких людях только в криминальной хронике либо в унизительном контексте, чем насаждаю страх у аудитории. Миротворческий подход для репортера: проведите несколько дней в лагере с этими людьми, опишите то, что вы увидели, в каких условиях они живут, есть ли доступ к воде, у их детей – к образованию, медицине. Позвольте им рассказать историю по-своему. Найдите среди них людей, которые смогли реинтегрироваться в общество и расскажите об этом. Не забывайте об этичной терминологии в тексте и визуальном контенте.

Недавно в моей поездке в Афганистан я много общалась с коллегами и простыми людьми и думаю, что на самом деле, к примеру, в Кыргызстан никто не бежит и бежать не собирается. Во-первых, вы удивитесь, но афганцы очень большие патриоты своей страны. Они готовы жить в нищете, но главное – дома. Во-вторых, те, кто хотят выехать из Афганистана с приходом талибов, вовсе не собираются в страны Центральной Азии – они хотят в США, в Европу.

– Но наши власти уже заявили о том, что собираются принять афганцев, бегущих от режима талибов.

– Да, озвучивалось намерение принять 1,2 тысячи человек, но не факт, что это будут афганцы. Вполне возможно, что речь идет об этнических кыргызах из Бадахшана, которых ранее не пустили через таджикскую границу. Кроме того, надо понимать, что у афганцев уже есть очень тяжелые уроки в Кыргызстане: некоторые люди, просившие убежища, прожили здесь 25 лет и уехали или умерли, так и не получив статус беженца.

– Кроме того, люди боятся не столько тех, кто бежит от талибов, сколько самих талибов, которые, как заявляют некоторые эксперты, теперь пойдут в страны Центральной Азии.

– «Талибану» здесь тоже делать нечего. То, что произошло в Афганистане – это внутриполитические процессы и геополитическая борьба за влияние в регионе, которые в мейнстримовых прогнозах различных экспертов и политиков используются для того, чтобы сеять панику.

– Выходит, журналисты помогают таким политикам?

– Отчасти. А еще сегодня СМИ, ориентированные на сенсацию, способствуют созданию негативного стереотипа не только в отношении беженцев, которых, кстати, пока нет, но и в отношении любых иностранцев, прибывших в страну.  Поддерживают и развивают в людях предубежденность в отношении людей иначе одетых, говорящих на непонятном языке.

– Каким образом это происходит?

– В нашем обществе, в принципе, существует много негативных стереотипов по поводу Афганистана. И на фоне всеобщей истерии и паники что делают СМИ – они публикуют твиты непонятных людей, даже не проверяя их на фейковость. Авторитетные новостные издания цитируют пользователей, которые пишут что-то вроде: «Я вышла попить капучинку, а вокруг миллион пакистанцев».

– А что не так с этим твитом?

– Проблема не в твите, а в том, что его перепечатало СМИ. Цитата «миллион пакистанцев» — это называется гиперболизация данных. Публикуя ее, СМИ допускает грубейшую журналистскую ошибку, ретранслируя оголтелое стереотипичное восприятие. Перепечатывать можно, но согласно журналистским стандартам и миротворческому подходу надо положить факты в соответствующий контекст. Именно это снимет проблему и даст возможность аудитории понять, что же в реальности происходит. Учитывая сложную политическую обстановку, контекст должен быть широким, нейтральным, не разжигающим ненависть и страх.

Причем, это не единственный пример. Вы, наверное, обратили внимание на материалы о том, что жители Бишкека указывают на якобы наплыв иностранцев в столицу Кырызстана. Эти сообщения также основаны на пользовательском контенте. Причем, издания не только цитируют пользователей интернета, но и используют их фотографии. Печатают снимки, где изображены люди в непривычной для кыргызстанцев одежде, возможно, пакистанские или индийские студенты. И называют их одежду пуштунской, хотя она таковой не является. Так вот создавая подобные сообщения журналисты триггерят определенные группы людей и это в результате может привести к преступлениям на почве ненависти.

– Правильно было бы сделать материал, в котором объясняется, чем пуштунские одежды отличаются от других национальных нарядов?

– Зачем? Нельзя оценивать людей по одной только одежде. Это недопустимо для СМИ. Фокус на различия в определенном социально-политическом контексте приводит к нетерпимости и вражде. Пользователи социальных сетей могут это делать, потому что они некомпетентны и не обладают степенью журналистской ответственности.  Но почему же журналисты допускают это? Это нетолерантный подход. Человек может носить любую одежду, он может говорить на том языке, на котором ему удобно, если, разумеется, речь не идет о каких-то дресс-кодах в официальных учреждениях. А если СМИ хотят показать, что действительно идут какие-то слухи о наплыве якобы беженцев, тогда они должны провести расследование, используя инструменты журналистики мира. Пойти поговорить с этими людьми, понять кто они, чем дать своей аудитории широкую картину.

– СМИ пытались прояснить ситуацию: давали ответы пограничной службы на запрос о том, сколько иностранцев прибыло в Кыргызстан.

– А какой был смысл выяснять это? Иностранцы, они всегда таргетируемая группа в таких странах как Кыргызстан, где существует проблема с толерантностью. И вдруг издание зачем-то спросило у пограничников информацию о том, сколько иностранцев прибыло в страну – из Ирана, из Афганистана, из Пакистана и т.д. Зачем в текущем тревожном социально-политическом контексте давать это в односторонних новостях? Предоставьте сбалансированный материал, не нагнетайте страх.  Уж если на то пошло, разве Кыргызстан не позиционирует себя, как туристическая страна? И мы должны быть рады любым иностранцам.

– Каким должен быть подход к освещению вопросов, связанных с возможностью прибытия беженцев?

– Сейчас главное точно проверять информацию и пытаться сбалансировать ее. Есть миротворческая журналистика, когда в репортажах нужно делать ориентацию на мир, а не на конфликт.  В журналистике мира (Peace journalism) существует правило «трех «не»:

  • не смягчать конфликт;
  • не искать виновных в конфликте;
  • не тиражировать мнения и претензии, как установленные факты.

Этот подход дает возможность редакторам и репортерам делать выбор, т.е решать, какие факты и в каком контексте сообщать аудитории, чтобы дать ей возможность рассмотреть ненасильственную реакцию на конфликт. Под конфликтом здесь подразумевается не только военный конфликт, но и любая ситуация, которая может служить источников потенциальных конфликтов в обществе.

– О чем не должны забывать журналисты, описывая ситуации, связанные с беженцами?

– Прежде чем, рисовать негативный образ людей, которые возможно могут прибыть из зоны конфликта, в чем я глубоко сомневаюсь, нужно понять, что на их месте может быть каждый из нас. Сейчас я обновила все свои учебные материалы для журналистов и вела туда практики собственных ощущений и понимания о том, что мир динамичен и изменчив. Никто не может сказать, что произойдет завтра. В военный конфликт может быть вовлечено население любой страны. То есть любой из нас может стать беженцем и вынужденным переселенцем в другой стране. И из-за своего внешнего вида, языка, культурным различий, (которые не соответствуют каким-то стереотипам, устоявшимся в обществе), при «поддержке» неэтичных, некомпетентных журналистов, любой человек может быть отнесен к таргет-группе, которую все будут ненавидеть.

Главное фото: AFP / Scanpix / LETA


Данная публикация подготовлена в рамках программы наставничества проекта «Развитие новых медиа и цифровой журналистики в Центральной Азии», реализуемого Институтом по освещению войны и мира (IWPR) при поддержке Правительства Великобритании. Содержание публикации не отражает официальную точку зрения IWPR или Правительст

ва Великобритании.

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МОНИТОРИНГИ, МЕДИАНАЛИТИКА, МЕДИАЭКСПЕРТИЗЫ КОНТЕНТА

 

МОНИТОРИНГИ, МЕДИАНАЛИТИКА, МЕДИАЭКСПЕРТИЗЫ КОНТЕНТАГруппа независимого мониторинга, экспертизы, анализа и образования Школы миротворчества и медиатехнологий в ЦА оказывает услуги в НКО секторе, проводит консультации, экспертизу тренинги по вопросам, связанным с медиасферой и публичным дискурсом.

Мы проводим медиа-мониторинги, медиа-исследования, разрабатываем медиа-планы и стратегии, готовим медиа-аналитику по заданным тематикам, а также предлагаем следующие услуги:

·исследование медиа-сферы на основе мониторинга СМИ на предмет освещения по заданной тематике с использованием уникальной методики, анализ, выработка рекомендаций;

·полный медиа-мониторинг и анализ выделенных публикаций по различным индикаторам, в зависимости от задачи– сбор всех материалов об объекте мониторинга по максимально широкому списку с помощью специальных электронных систем мониторинга, ручного поиска и интеллектуальных инструментов для анализа (кыргызский, русский, английский языки);

·по ограниченному медиа-списку – поиск публикаций об объекте мониторинга по определенному списку СМИ (обычно наиболее авторитетные, популярные, значимые с точки зрения достижения ЦА, издания);

·аналитические обзоры по заданной тематике;

·разработка моделей информационно-просветительских кампаний( интеллектуальная логистика, исследование и анализ ситуации, планирование мероприятий, определение аудитории, стратегия, сбор информации, анализ, разработка послания, определение ожидаемых результатов, тестирование кампании, разработка публичных мероприятий, отслеживание результатов кампании);

·разработка медиа-планов, мониторинг и анализ медиа-активности, кризисный медиа-мониторинг, архивный/ретроспективный медиа-мониторинг;

·консультации по созданию медиа-кампаний;

·тренинговые/обучающие услуги, мастер-классы: разработка тематики и программы тренинга;

·проведение медиа-тренингов/мастер-классов;

·информационные услуги (создание релизов, адаптация пресс-релизов под веб-публикацию. линкование, ссылки, теги и т д);

·разработка сценария и создание видео- и аудио-интервью, тезисы;

·подготовка спикеров для пресс-конференций, разработка сценария пресс-конференции и брифингов, тезисы их выступления;

·разработка медиа-плана для участия, выступающего в тематических программах по социально-значимым вопросам;

·редактирование и обработка текстов (кыргызский, русский, английский языки).

Вышеперечисленные услуги осуществляются по договору оказания платных услуг в некоммерческом секторе и рассчитаны в соответствии с калькуляцией платных услуг на текущий год. За подробной информацией обращаться на peacemakingschool@gmail.com или написать сообщение на Фейсбук https://www.facebook.com/Alinapeacemaker


 

 

 

 

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