Tajikistan: Government Instructs Officials to Avoid Independent Media

The government of Tajikistan has instructed its officials to prioritize state-controlled over independent Tajik or international media sources. As a result, in-country journalists complain, their already restricted contact with government officials has been almost entirely eliminated. The official statement released by the Tajik government instructs its officials to limit its contact with any independent journalists when it speaks on anything related to government meetings, the Tajik president’s agenda and general activities, and on meetings held by Tajik officials domestically or internationally.

The government’s perhaps predictable rationale for the edict is that independent news organizations stand opposed to the successful functioning of the country, and are therefore “enemies of the constitution.” However, the concern among civil society organizations and in segments of the Tajik society is that the directive could have the effect of “diminish[ing] independent journalists’ chances of directly raising social issues” and from obtaining legitimate information from government officials.

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