Tajik parliament endorses amendments proposed to the country’s media law

30/03/2016 17:08
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, March 30, 2016, Asia-Plus – Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) on March 30 endorsed amendments proposed by the government to the country’s law on periodical press and other mass media.

When discussing the draft law, parliamentarians decided to change the amendment concerning suspension of media activity.  Parliamentarians changed the formulation “The registration body (Ministry of Culture) may suspend the media activity for three months following suit filed by prosecutor’s bodies” for “Courts may suspend the media activity for three months following suit filed by prosecutor’s bodies.”

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, said the statement.

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

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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