“In one telling sign of the climate of fear that prevails in Tajikistan, only two among the more than a dozen journalists, press freedom advocates, and experts that CPJ met with were willing to speak on the record.”
While crossing the Lithuanian border in January, Nasriddinov was arrested by Belarusian authorities at the request of Tajik authorities. In February, Belarus agreed to send him to Tajikistan.
“Tajik authorities’ move to ban ‘Pamir Daily News’ and smear it as ‘extremist’ is a sadly predictable step in the ongoing criminalization of all coverage of the government’s human rights abuses.” – CPJ
The closure of Azattyk Media will entail not only a restriction of freedom of speech and pluralism in the mass media, but also a restriction of citizens’ rights to access information.
During a closed-door trial Pirmuhammadzoda was found guilty of participation in an opposition political organisation banned as extremist. In October, Pirmuhammadzoda said that officers had tortured him to make him sign a false confession.
The six activists from the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Region were detained in connection with protests in May 2022. Their trials were held behind closed doors without access to lawyers or the evidence against them.
“From the start, it has been clear that the case against Daler Imomali is about signalling that the critical public-interest journalism that he practiced will not be tolerated, and ratcheting up pressure on Tajikistan’s media to self-censor” – CPJ
In a closed-door trial, Ghurbati was found guilty on charges of assaulting and insulting a police officer and participation in a banned extremist group. The prosecution appears to be in retaliation for his journalism.
Dozens who were detained during May 2022 protests are facing closed, unfair trials on serious charges – often without access to lawyers or the evidence against them.
The authorities in several Central Asian states have warned news outlets to tone down their coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or ignore it entirely.
Under amendments to the Administrative Code, anyone providing “false” or “inaccurate” information about COVID-19 in the media or on social media could be fined up to 1,160 somoni (995 euros) – nearly twice the minimum monthly wage.
In many countries, prisoners rely on their families for food and medicine while behind bars. But this year, as families have been barred from visiting their loved ones due to COVID-19, jailed Muslim journalists have to cope with fasting on even fewer resources than before.
Ilhomjon Yakubov is the former head of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan and is living in exile in Lithuania. The assault is the latest in a long line of what appear to be politically-motivated attacks on critics of the Tajikistan government.
Sharipov has been detained since 28 January 2020 and faces up to five years in prison if convicted. He has often criticised the government and reported on sensitive topics.