STATEMENT OF THE MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS OF TAJIKISTAN ON ACCREDITATION OF JOURNALISTS OF FOREIGN MEDIA IN TAJIKISTAN
Dushanbe, October 23, 2019
The National Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan (NANSMIT) and the Media Council of Tajikistan express their concern about the situation regarding the accreditation of Radio Ozodi correspondents at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan and urge the authorities not to use the mechanism for accrediting foreign media journalists as a tool to restrict freedom of speech in the country. The accreditation mechanism should facilitate the effective exercise of the professional rights of journalists, and not limit their professional activities. The repressive method of using accreditation of journalists negatively affects the country's image in the information community.
For more than six months, five employees of Radio Ozodi have been denied accreditation, another nine correspondents whose accreditation deadline expires on November 1 are awaiting a decision of the authorized body. Unfortunately, the stipulated terms, not exceeding one month from the day of receipt of the corresponding written appeal, are not fulfilled by the authorized state body. Sharing the fears of the leadership of Radio Ozodi, we cannot be indifferent to the problems of colleagues from Radio Ozodi, because they are all citizens of Tajikistan, and circumstances with accreditation prevent them from realizing their right to work and a decent salary.
Expressed dissatisfaction with the "unreasonable" and "contrary to journalistic ethics" publications of Radio Ozodi and other fictitious reasons that served as a deprivation of their accreditation fundamentally contradict the provisions of Clause 21 of the current regulation on accreditation, which states: "Foreign correspondents have the right for the free transfer of their materials, radio, video and television information, excluding any censorship of them.”
We are convinced that the requirement for accreditation of foreign media journalists should not contradict international standards of freedom of information and the norms of the country's legislation. It is noteworthy that the current regulation on the accreditation of foreign media correspondents in Tajikistan is outdated and refers to the norms of the old media law.
We urge the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan to review the regulation on the accreditation of foreign media correspondents on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan (Approved by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan dated January 27, 1995 N 108) in order to bring this subordinate act in line with international obligations and the laws of the country. The country's media organizations are ready to assist in the development of a new by-law that complies with international standards and current national legislation.
Shakhlo AKOBIROVA, Chairwoman of the Media Council of Tajikistan
Nuriddin KARSHIBOEV, Chairman of NANSMIT