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U.S. Presses Tajikistan on Media Freedom

Tajikistan -- U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Susan Elliot on November 8.
Tajikistan -- U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan Susan Elliot on November 8.
U.S. Embassy Statement on Journalists' Rights
February 5, 2013

"The United States has long supported freedom of speech, mass media freedom, and the right of journalists to work without fear of censorship or reprisal. We, the U.S. Embassy, have regularly raised our concerns regarding the treatment of journalists in Tajikistan, including that of Mr. Abduqayum Qayumzod, with the Tajik government. We urge the Government of Tajikistan to respect media freedom and establish a clear and transparent mechanism governing the accreditation of journalists."

Abduqayum Qayumov is a veteran journalist for Radio Ozodi, RFE/RL's Tajik service, who was denied a routine accreditation request without explanation on December 9, 2012.

Qayumov was the second journalist last year to be denied accreditation and effectively banned from working for RFE/RL in Tajikistan. Last April, Tajik authorities refused to accredit Gulnora Rovshan, a Dushanbe-based reporter who worked for RFE/RL's Uzbek service.

The OSCE has previously noted the increasing misuse of accreditation in member states. Among its many recommendations, it has stated:

"Accreditation should not be used as a general work permit for journalism, only as facilitator of the work of journalists. Governments should facilitate the work of journalists by adopting procedures that enable journalists to work in the host country, including the timely issue of visas. Governments should abolish regulations that impose an additonal layer of permission to media professionals. to prevent "coverage of events deemed to be of public interest."