Tajik authorities close opposition publishing house

Tajik authorities close opposition publishing house
Dushanbe, Tajikistan (Image: VargaA under a CC licence)

14 August 2015

Authorities have closed a publishing house belonging to the opposition party in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

The publishing house belongs to the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), and was reportedly closed for failing to adhere to public health laws.

IRPT published on its website the letter it received, bearing stamps from the Ministry of Culture, Tax Committee, Tajik Standards Office and Sanitary and Epidemiological Centre. According to the letter, the publishing house had to close because staff members “do not undergo medical examinations and do not wear appropriate uniform”.

Meanwhile, the party has stated that the closure of the publishing house is rather part of the government’s “anti-IRPT programme”.

The publishing house used to issue the party’s newspaper Najot and the magazine Safina and Umed.

This development comes amid questions surrounding press freedom in Tajikistan. Last month a new directive instructed officials to make the state news agency their first choice when giving information to the press, making it difficult for independent media to interview members of the government.