What is more expensive – deputy’s honor or freedom of press?
06/04-2012 15:18, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Darya PODOLSKAYA and Julia KOSTENKO
Deputy from SDPK (Social and Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan) faction Irina Karamushkina decided to avenge not only journalists, who insulted her as “woman and politician”, but with 24.kg news agency. He sued the agency and demanded compensation in 5M soms. Who recommended her the sum is stayed unknown.
The reason for “war” between the deputy and 24.kg news agency is an article of reporter Makhinur Niyazova about car accident with the deputy’s car. A man died and there is information that she was driving the car.
Irina Karamushkina promised not to interfere to investigation but she made a recognizance not to leave for her driver. After this news she said that the above-said information is wrong and demanded to write a denial. Her wish was taken into account and a necessary comment appeared on the web-site. It seems she wasn’t satisfied with it and next day she angrily criticized the news agency and Makhinur Niyazova personally on plenary session.
24.kg news agency decided to ask: what is more expensive – deputy’s honor or freedom of press?
Felix Kulov, Ar Namys parliamentary faction leader:
- I’m in difficult situation. Irina Karamushkina is my colleague and it would he impolite to comment her actions. I hope that she won’t upset as don’t get used to avoid questions. I’ll say that denial is enough. The satisfaction demand in 5M soms through court means closure of the news agency. I don’t think that it can pay such sum of money.
Shirin Aytmatova, Ata Meken faction deputy:
- A politician should understand that he is a public figure. She should be ready for journalists’ attention and get used to information about her. Despite the fact that information is not 100% correct. To sue with the news agency and demand 5M soms wasn’t necessary. It is some kind of weakness. Experienced politicians should be above it. If to fight them then most of them would have closed already.
Zhyldyzkan Zholdosheva, Ata Zhurt faction deputy:
- I’m in policy and civic activism for than 30 years and I have never sued with journalists. Though, they wrote about me enough, most of it a complete lie. Nevertheless, if we live in democratic state then there should be a freedom of press. Deputy should work openly and understand that the only who will promote his or her openness are news agencies. Journalists have a right for mistake too. So, what is the journalist Niyazova fault? Is she guilty for information about the car accident? The car accident really took place. We have victims and one man died. But, demanding compensation is not ethical. I consider that this article cause some damage to deputy Irina Karamushkina.
Bakyt Torobaev, Respublika faction deputy:
- Of course, among these two things I choose freedom of speech. To pursue journalists through court is wrong, I guess. I can say: if news agency reporter has no aim to discredit person and damage his reputation then there is no need to sue him. But if journalist does it intentionally, following somebody’s orders, in this case journalist should be punished. In common, mass media bring a man up, especially it is about politicians.
Toktogul Tumanov, SDPK faction deputy:
- Personally, I wouldn’t sue journalist if the latter admit that he was wrong and gave a denial. Is it necessary to spare own mental harmony for such things?
Akhmat Alagushev, media representative:
- It is constitutional right of every citizen. We can’t prohibit high-ranking officials to sue with news agencies. Constitution protects all citizens but deputy’s honor is most vulnerable. Such big amounts of money make damage news agencies and influence on reporters’ salaries. In this very case it is necessary to check a compliant in order to define if it is possible to confine to denial only or not.
Begaim Usenova, head of Media Police Institute:
- It seem to me this argue should be solved with mediation procedures as the 24.kg news agency reporter offered the deputy a denial. Certainly, every citizen, including deputy of Parliament, has the right for dignity protection in court. The latter should clarify whether truth is that the deputy’s honor damaged. Sometimes, suitors demand sums which don’t collocate with damage. Unfortunately, national legislation doesn’t define an order of moral damage evaluation.
Alexander Shelepenko, Slovo Kyrygyzstana (Word of Kyrgyzstan) newspaper:
- Both things are important and their value is high. Deputies should take an example from President Almazbek Atambayev who never sued with journalists. Irina Karamushkina understands our creative work too emotionally. We should make advances to each other and shorten gap between mass media and authorities. Parliament should understand that it is too extravagant to fight with press.
Kadyr Toktogulov, Press Secretary of President:
- You mean Irina Karamushkina case? Then, yes the truth is more impotant.
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