Kyrgyzstan Blogger Arrested After Court Cancels Probation

A Kyrgyz blogger known for his critical reports of authorities has been detained after the Bishkek City Court canceled his three-year parole-like probation.

Adilet Ali Myktybek, known on social media as Alibek Baltabai, was sentenced to five years in prison in November on a charge of calling for social unrest via the internet, allegations he has called politically motivated.

 

The court ruled at the time that Myktybek would not have to serve his prison sentence immediately, but instead would be under a three-year parole-like probation period. If he served that period without any violations, the court said his five-year prison term would be canceled.

 

The blogger’s lawyer, Taken Moldokulov, told RFE/RL that the Bishkek City Court’s decision January 12 to send his client to a penal colony was made at the request of prosecutors who considered Myktybek’s sentence too lenient.

 

Moldokulov added that the court annulled the probation part of the sentence leaving the five-year prison term without changes.

 

“The Penitentiary Service is expected to inform us where exactly Adilet Baltabai will be serving his term,” Moldokulov said, adding that the court decision will be appealed.

 

Myktybek was detained in late June last year after he was questioned by Bishkek police for a third time since May about his coverage of rallies by civil rights activists.

 

Following his release in November, Myktybek continued his blogging activities and took part in a rally January 10 to express support for 26 jailed Kyrgyzstan politicians and activists arrested in October for protesting a border deal with Uzbekistan.

 

Myktybek has been known for actively covering anti-government rallies and pickets in the Central Asian nation.

 

He is also a freelance correspondent for the Next television channel, whose director, Taalaibek Duishembiev, was handed a suspended three-year prison sentence in September after a court found him guilty of inciting interethnic hatred by airing a controversial report related to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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