The State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan (GKNB) checks posts on social networks for criticism against the president at the request of the deputy of the Parliament Irina Karamushkina.
There have been already identified 10 Facebook users who spoke negatively of Almazbek Atambayev. Other 35 people also provoked suspicions. They are being identified.
Deputies of the Parliament also showed interest to the checks by GKNB. Some of the MPs were strongly against GKNB actions, describing them as pressure on freedom of speech.
So, what is behind the actions of the security officers? 24.kg news agency presents the views of deputies and civil society activists.
Ainuru Altybaeva, deputy of Parliament from the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan faction:
- I can not comment on the debates between the colleagues and a representative of the president in parliament. I can only voice my positions. I am an active user of social networks, I have many friends there. I can say that there is a lot of aggression in recent years. I even supposed (and said it at a meeting of the Parliament), that there are sick people who write horrible things. They touch upon private topics and personal life. They begin defaming a person for his handicaps. But it should not be.
I support the differentiation of "criticism" and "insult" concepts. Yes, you can criticize the government, deputies and the president. But it should not turn into insults, touch upon family, privacy. I also criticize a lot, but did not make personal remarks.
On one hand, the National Security Committee has a lot of other important things, of course. But they still have to look at what is posted on the social networks. After all, there are also different appeals. And this concerns national security.
GKNB can not check every Like or comment, of course. It is simply impossible. On the other hand, social networks have become a cesspool where everyone writes what he wants. I think it is a matter of internal culture.
I am for freedom of speech, but one should not insult someone on the web. There must be some kind of line.
Mavlyan Askarbekov, civil society activist:
- The task of the National Security Committee - to ensure national security. Likes, posts, comments on Facebook affect it in no way. Negative remarks against the officials can not be regarded as a threat.
GKNB is spending time, money and energy on unnecessary thing at the instigation of Irina Karamushkina instead of dealing with border conflicts, solving problems with radicals and terrorists. They are looking for those who criticize the president and spreads rumors. As a result, the committee is lowered to the level of these rumors.
Temirlan Ormukov, a poet:
- I myself have suffered from post on Facebook. On September 20, I wrote a poem, when the President of Kyrgyzstan was hospitalized. Two months later, I was summoned to the National Security Committee and said that the publication was considered to be inciting inter-regional strife. I still can not get an expert opinion. Suppose, I slandered the president, even if I am a terrorist, but give me a statement in my hands!
Moreover, I only quoted Almazbek Atambayev, not thought out the words. Intelligence agencies are working, it's taken into production.
If the authorities have decided to monitor the social networks, they should adopt appropriate law and recognize Facebook a media outlet. Furthermore, there should be a response to all publications. Then we will write them in social networks and stop leaving home.
Aisuluu Mamashova, deputy of Parliament from Ata Meken faction:
- All authorities are criticized. And the President - as the head of state - is not an exception. It now appears that GKNB is looking for users of social networks, who have criticized the president. So, instead of addressing issues of national importance, they are spending time on Facebook. This is inefficient use of time, GKNB has more important tasks.
In my opinion, there are things that GKNB should control, including on the Internet. We are talking about various propaganda sites, for example, religious extremists. They must find them and block, so that it is the question of national security.
How can they keep track of every post or Like? All the time is to be spent only on that. The National Security Committee is responsible for the state security, but it spends time searching for those who criticize the president. They should be engaged in their duties.
Moldakun Abdyldaev, Plenipotentiary Representative of President in the Parliament:
- There is nothing illegal and criminal in the actions of GKNB. There is no pressure on freedom of speech in the country. At the same time, there is a law on guarantees of president's activity. According to the document, GKNB examines posts of Kyrgyzstanis in social networks.
Article 4 of the law clearly states that the honor and dignity of the President in case of dissemination of impartial information is protected by the Prosecutor General's Office. It gives an estimate. Therewith, it may assign its duties and rights to other state bodies, and can also go to court to protect the president. There is an appeal of deputy Irina Karamushkina to the National Security Committee with request to check the posts in social networks on the subject of criticism against the president. On the basis of this, the National Security Committee examines what the Kyrgyzstanis write.