Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Uzbekistan: Prime Minister Againts Constitution Regarding Journalist

Posted by Info on 15/02/2011

The already short list of journalists, who are officially registered with the Uzbek ministry of exterior, has shrank. There were 38 such journalists last year, the renewed list now has 33. Given that some 80 foreign journalists were accredited prior to the Andijan events [in 2005], attempts to minimize the number of foreign reporters are obvious.

In fact, the number of foreign journalists present on the ground in Uzbekistan is even smaller than 33, because many return home after they receive accreditation. That is why the press service of the ministry of foreign affairs faces significant difficulties to have even 8-10 reporters come to those rare news conferences it rarely hosts.

It must be noted that should an Uzbek journalist lose his “accredited journalist” status, s/he is close to literally joining the ranks of those unemployed, because the national authorities build any possible obstacle before a journalist with no permission to cover stories in the country.
There is even a governmental decree “Main regulations of journalists’ activities who work for foreign mass media outlets,” signed by Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev and adopted on 24 February 2006. Despite the fact that this documents is in contradiction with the Uzbek constitution and all laws regulating mass media, authorities prefer using it and openly ignore the main piece of legislation.

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