Parliament expected to consider amendments offered to the media law

03/02/2016 11:01
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, February 3, 2016, Asia-Plus – Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament is expected to consider  amendments, offered by the government to the country’s law on periodical press and other mass media at its sitting today.

We will recall that the amendments have displeased local media organizations.

In a statement  released on February 1, Tajik Journalists’ Union (TJU), the National Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan (Nansmit), the Homa Public Association and the Media Council of Tajikistan, noted that they come out against the amendments proposed by the government to the country’s media law.

If adopted, the amendments would legitimate censorship in Tajikistan, according to the statement.

The media organizations consider that the amendments will deal a heavy blow to the country’s media.

One of the amendments gives the prosecutor’s offices the right of giving written directions to media “to remove first irregularity.”

“If the irregularities are not removed in the required time, prosecutor’s offices may apply to the bodies engaged in registration of media for suspension of the media activity,” the amendment said, noting that in this case, the registration bodies may suspend the media activity for three months.

According to the amendments, the media activities can also be suspended by the court.

Tajikistan’s Law on Periodical Press and Other Mass Media was adopted on March 19, 2013.

An international, non-governmental human rights organization, ARTICLE 19, noted on October 2, 2014 that it finds that the Media Law includes a number of provisions that are in breach of international freedom of expression standards.

At the same time, ARTICLE 19 finds that the Media Law includes a number of provisions that are in breach of international freedom of expression standards, in particular, the regulations dealing with: media registration; content restrictions; the right of reply and refutation; access to state information; the protection of confidential information; the accreditation of journalists; duties of journalists; and the accreditation of foreign media.

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