RFE/RL Back On the Air in Kyrgyzstan.

Posted: 13 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"After nearly two years off the national airwaves, RFE/RL's popular radio and television programs in Kyrgyzstan are once again widely available to listeners and viewers across the country. The move reverses a 2008 decision by UTRK, the national broadcaster, to remove RFE/RL programming due to what it described as 'negative and critical' coverage of the government. ... In the wake of last week's uprising that led to the ouster of Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiev, Radio Azattyk is back on UTRK. It is broadcasting three hours of daily radio programming and two weekly primetime television news shows - 'Inconvenient Questions' and the youth-oriented 'Azattyk Plus.'" RFE/RL press release, 12 April 2010, not yet available at the RFE/RL website, but sent to a select few recipients, one of whom sent it to me. Also reported by VOA correspondent Steve Herman, still tweeting from Bishkek.
     "Reticence marked the immediate US diplomatic response to the April 6-7 upheaval in Kyrgyzstan. Underscoring this cautious approach, Washington has yet to formally recognize the new provisional government, which assumed authority in Bishkek after Bakiyev fled to his native region in southern Kyrgyzstan. Russia, in sharp contrast, quickly acknowledged the provisional government and reached out to its head, Roza Otunbayeva. ... The US government may soon be facing some tough questions from Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders, who say they are intent on reviewing the Defense Department’s contracts concerning Manas due to suspicion about corrupt practices on the part of the Bakiyev administration. In Kyrgyzstan, public opinion is widespread that US diplomacy is preoccupied with the Manas facility’s future, and is not paying sufficient attention to the country’s economic and democratization challenges." Eurasianet.org, 11 April 2010.