Tajikistan tightens control of press

Tajikistan tightens control of press

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Tajikistan yesterday announced new restrictions on the media, tightening government control over the press.

Authorities said all state-run news outlets must now send their reports to the official Khovar information agency, while independent media outlets must now cite Khovar when reporting official news.

Nuriddin Karshiboev, head of Tajikistan’s National Association of Independent Media, criticised the move, saying “the new regulation violates the constitution that guarantees equal access to official information”.

The former Soviet republic, one of the poorest countries in Asia, has been ruled by strongman President Emomali Rahmon since 1992. The government is regularly criticised for its poor record on human rights and press freedom.

Reporters Sans Frontiers ranks Tajikistan 116th out of 180 countries in its 2015 press freedom report.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has been running the ex-Soviet Central Asian country, known as one of Asia’s poorest countries, with an iron fist since 1992.

His government has been widely criticized for its crackdown on dissent and its tight grip on media.

“State media in post-Soviet Central Asian countries like Tajikistan focuses mostly on good news internally – however local – and bad news from abroad that serves to remind Tajiks how lucky they are to live in a stable autocracy,” one commentator wrote recently.

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