We recently wrote about attacks on journalists working to cover anti-government protests in GBAO. So the journalists of “Asia-plus” were attacked and subsequently the agency refused to cover the events in GBAO, and journalists and operators of Radio Ozody and “Present Time” were beaten. The victims and international organizations appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Tajik authorities with a request to find and punish the perpetrators. But so far, no official statements have been made by state bodies, no investigation is being carried out. This allows us to conclude that the Tajik authorities are directly behind these attacks. Rakhmonov’s goal: to prevent the freedom of the media, to prevent the dissemination of truthful information.
These events are far from the only ones. The work of a journalist covering topical events from the point of view of truth is very dangerous in Tajikistan and does not go unnoticed by the authorities. Pressure on the free press in the country is long and continuous.
Recall only a few of the most resonant cases:
In May 2020, Abdullo Gurbati, an Asia-Plus journalist, was attacked at once. On May 11, in Dushanbe, a journalist was beaten for the plot “Why Tajiks do not refuse to shake hands during a pandemic,” where he called for the introduction of quarantine in the country. The beating was preceded by numerous threats over the phone. The second time the journalist was beaten on May 29 during the filming of a story about the consequences of mudflow in the Khatlon region. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan then issued an absurd statement that the journalist himself was to blame, since he violated the inviolability of housing and invaded privacy, penetrating the tent of victims of the mudslides, “he wanted to arouse in the residents a sense of dissatisfaction with the state and the government.”
In April 2020, journalist Daler Sharipov was convicted, thanks to the wide public outcry and interference of international human rights organizations, he was sentenced to 1 year in prison. Although usually in such cases, the sentence is more severe. But in any case, the journalist was not guilty and convicted to intimidate others. Otherwise, there is no way to explain the decision of the authorities.
Also in 2020, the Akhbor news site was closed. Mirzo Salimpur explained this decision by the fact that after the Supreme Court’s decision to declare the site banned in Tajikistan, “there were many legal problems in the site’s activities.”
The Group of 24 political movement strongly condemns Rakhmonov’s criminal policy towards free media in the country. Where there is no free media, there is a dictatorship!
Political movement “Group 24”