On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the Delegation of the European Union, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy of the French Republic to the Republic of Tajikistan wish to highlight the crucial role played by Tajik media and professional journalists, and to thank them for their tireless efforts and dedication in serving the general public. World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity for all of us to pay tribute to journalist’s work all across the globe. Independent journalism is essential to ensure the freedom of expression, and foster transparency and accountability also in difficult conditions.
In times of uncertainty, access to reliable and correct information is essential, and the global pandemic of covid-19 has once again proved that timely and accurate information can save lives. We strongly believe that Tajikistan’s long-term prosperity, security, and stability, as well as resilience of its society require the full commitment to protecting the freedom of speech, a vibrant and diversified mass media landscape, and the right of journalists to work without censorship or fear of reprisal.
In this context, the EU calls on the authorities of the Republic of Tajikistan to fully comply with their international human rights commitments, as codified in the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and to ensure that the freedom of expression and the media are fully ensured without restrictions, online as well as offline. Furthermore, when carrying out this for society so essential tasks, independent journalists should not feel threatened or obliged to compromise with their professional integrity and standards, in order to not put their work status, their media outlet, accreditation or their personal security are at risk.
We are convinced that access to fast and affordable internet and unhampered enjoyment of the media resources is essential not only for Tajikistan’s media freedom but also for the economic development of the country.