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Tajikistan: UN Rapporteur Alarmed by Lack of Media Freedoms

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the protection of the right to freedom of expression has concluded a tour in Tajikistan and found the situation there to be particularly dire.

Speaking at a press conference in Dushanbe on March 9, David Kaye spoke, among other things, about his concern for the jailed members of the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan is currently experiencing one of its most intense waves of state repression since the fall of the Soviet Union, a trend that reach its apex in September with the designation of the IRPT, the country’s only serious opposition force, as a terrorist group.

Kaye’s remarks echoed those of rights activists who worry that Tajikistan’s proximity to Afghanistan has provided it with the cover to freely persecute critics of the government. 

“I recognize that there is a serious security problem in this part of the world, in particular in Tajikistan and in this neighborhood. But I’m afraid that the security situation has been used as a pretext, as an excuse, to crack down on freedom of expression, whether in the media or in civil society,” he said.

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Tajikistan: UN Rapporteur Alarmed by Lack of Media Freedoms

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