WASHINGTON -- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) regional director for Central Asia and Tajik Service director announced their retirements today, each concluding long careers in journalism in some of the world’s most restrictive countries.
As Regional Director, Abbas Djavadi, an RFE/RL veteran of 33 years, has overseen the operations of RFE/RL’s Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek language services. Djavadi served previously as the company’s Azerbaijani Service director, and helped establish RFE/RL’s Persian-language service, Radio Farda and Radio Mashaal, the Pashto-language service for the tribal regions along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Sojida Djakhfarova was appointed head of the Tajik Service in 2009, after previously directing the company’s Uzbek Service and working as Dushanbe bureau chief and a Moscow correspondent. Under her leadership, the Tajik Service in 2018 logged 21 million visits and 61 million page views on digital platforms and earned distinction as the company’s most popular language service on YouTube, with 550,000 subscribers and 200 million views.
In the wake of the announcements, RFE/RL has named Venera Djumataeva, the company’s Kyrgyz Service director, as Acting Regional Director for Central Asia. Salimjon Aioubov, editor of the company’s Central Asia wire service, will serve as Acting Director of the Tajik Service.
RFE/RL relies on its networks of local reporters to provide accurate news and information to 34 million people in 26 languages and 22 countries where media freedom is restricted, or where a professional press has not fully developed. Its videos were viewed over 2.6 billion times on Facebook and YouTube in FY2018. RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media.