Kyrgyz media outlets reported yesterday that Pervomayskiy district prosecutor’s office in Bishkek has instituted criminal proceedings against local online news agency for reproduction of an article from the Tajik news agency Asia-Plus about the situation along the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

On January 27, kaktus-media reproduced an article from Asia-Plus about clashes that erupted between Kyrgyz and Tajik border troops the same day along a segment of the countries’ mutual border.

The criminal proceedings were instituted against on January 28 under the provisions of Article 407 of Kyrgyzstan’s Penal Code – propaganda for war, that is, the dissemination of views, ideas or calls in any form in order to cause aggression of one country against another or unleash a military conflict. 

The Prosecutor-General’s Office of Kyrgyzstan notes that the article reproduced by on January 27 allegedly contains false information that the Kyrgyz servicemen were the first to shoot and  thereby provoked the Republic of Tajikistan. 

Investigators are currently working on a legal assessment of the legality of these actions, says the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Kyrgyzstan. notes that several its employees were summoned to the prosecutor’s office on January 30 for questioning and they signed a non-disclosure agreement.  

Despite the fact that to publish the opinion of the two sides of any conflict is a normal practice of international journalism, this news caused a backlash in Kyrgyzstan. 

Although later deleted the article and apologized to the population of Kyrgyzstan, people went to the rally at noon on January 28.  

Kyrgyz media reports noted that the main protester was Joldoshbek Syrgakov, who had previously participated in rallies against sending the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) troops to Kazakhstan and in support of Bolot Temirov.  

Besides, Kyrgyz media outlets found Syrgakov’s photo with President Sadyr Japarov; but it is unknown under what circumstances the photo was taken.