United Nations human rights expert David Kaye arrived in Tajikistan yesterday to evaluate freedom of expression in the country.
Mr Kaye was invited to visit Tajikistan by the country’s government. He is due to meet with numerous national authorities, including the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Culture and the Minister of the Interior. He is also set to hold discussions with non-governmental organizations, media outlets and journalists.
“I look forward to learning about the challenges to freedom of expression in Tajikistan, as well as initiatives taken to ensure this fundamental right is well protected,” Mr Kaye stated.
“I will look, among other issues, at the measures taken to ensure public debate in the country, the independence of the media, as well as the safety of journalists and activists,” he added.
The independent expert will present a report to the UN Human Rights Council detailing the findings of his time in Tajikistan, on the basis of which he will make recommendations for the improvement of the situation regarding freedom of expression in the country. 9 March, the last day of the visit, will see Mr Kaye sharing his preliminary observations at a press conference.
David Kaye is UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. His visit comes shortly after Tajik President Emomali Rahmon criticised Tajik national TV and radio channels for a lack of professionalism, raising alarm regarding government influence on the media.