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IWPR Kyrgyzstan conducted training on communications for journalists and human rights activists in Naryn and Karakol

The office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) in Kyrgyzstan held a two-day training “Interaction between NGOs and the media: development of effective strategies to attract society to discuss critical issues in the field of human rights”” for journalists, human rights activists and non-governmental organizations in Naryn and Issyk-Kul oblasts.

The training was conducted in the framework of the project “Creating a Culture of Investigative Journalism for Furthering Democratic Reform – Linking Human Rights Organizations, Government Officials and the Media to Promote Change”, funded by the European Union and the Government of Norway.

During that training, the participants have learned the concept of human rights, and how they are related to the lives of ordinary citizens, what laws ensure their compliance, and how to deal with the violation of human rights, how to attract the attention of authorities and the public to this problem.

In addition to theoretical knowledge, journalists and human rights activists have worked during practical sessions: media workers have learned to interview victims of human rights violations, and human rights defenders and their clients have learned how to share their stories and other relevant information. All this took place with the participation of a real victim of torture by law enforcement agencies.

Naryn trainingThese sessions, on the one hand, will help the media be aware of original relevant and controversial topics, and, on the other hand, by covering them, the human rights community has an opportunity to draw the attention of public authorities and local population to the violations of human rights, seek permission for solution of various controversial issues.

“There are not so many human rights defenders and journalists in the Naryn region who are monitoring the situation and protect the interests of the residents of our region, – said Gulbarchyn Namazbekova, a lawyer from Naryn. – Therefore, it is important for us to be united and work side by side. This IWPR training provides a good opportunity to consolidate our forces for mutually beneficial cooperation”.

Participants of the training at the Issyk-Kul region noted that, in spite of variety of trainings often held in Karakol, they participated in the communication building training for the first time.

“We know that there are many different organizations here, but we do not know what exactly they are doing. Maybe, human rights activists do active and useful work, but it is important to communicate this to the public and the authorities, and in this sense, this IWPR training is useful for building a stable and long-term contact of non-governmental organizations with the media”, said the chairman of the Association of Women’s Community in Issyk-Kul region Ainash Namazova.

40 people attended the two training sessions, including 20 journalists and 20 representatives of human rights organizations and NGOs of Naryn and Issyk-Kul oblasts.

Participants noted the practical orientation of the training and said that they would use this knowledge in the development of topics, during the work on various materials, writing press releases and coverage of human rights cases.

Trainers were prominent human rights activists and experienced professionals in their field: Heads of PF “Kylym Shamy” Aziza Abdirasulova and «Voice of Freedom» Abdumomun Mamaraimov.

Naryn 2“It is expected that after a series of such training sessions, the participants will submit their joint journalistic works on various acute and resonance problems, – said Aygerim Usunova,  coordinator of the IWPR office in Kyrgyzstan, about the goals of the training. – Reporters, human rights activists and, most importantly,  the readers will benefit from such cooperation. Correspondents will help NGOs properly communicate with journalists, and human rights activists, in turn, will help reveal more deeply specific topics for reporters and help with tips, and, as a result, they will produce an interesting and useful information product for readers from among the general public and employees of state agencies. “

The two-day training sessions of the IWPR were held on March 10-11 in Naryn, and on March 13-14 in Karakol.

A similar training will be held on March 17-18 for journalists and human rights defenders in Batken region.

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