Media organisations in Tajikistan have spoken out in protest of amendments to the country’s media law proposed by the government.
According to a statement released yesterday by the Tajik Journalists’ Union (TJU), the National Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan (Nansmit), the Homa Public Association and the Media Council of Tajikistan, the proposed amendments to Tajikistan’s Law on Periodical Press and Other Mass Media would be tantamount to legalising censorship in the country.
Among the amendments is a clause allowing prosecutor’s offices to give written directions to media outlets regarding “irregularities”.
“If the irregularities are not removed in the required time, prosecutor’s offices may apply to those bodies engaged in the registration of media outlets for suspension of media activity,” the amendment said, noting that the registration bodies may suspend media activity for up to three months.
Tajikistan consistently ranks near the bottom of international ratings for press freedom. It ranked 116th among 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index for 2015.