Year zero for media freedom

President Islam Karimov’s death in August 2016 opened a new page in Uzbekistan’s history. Throughout his 25-year reign, the eternal dictator kept intensifying censorship and the persecution of independent journalists. Will his successor, former Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev, allow his fellow citizens to enjoy the right to information enshrined in the constitution? The dean of Uzbekistan’s imprisoned journalists, Muhammad Bekjanov, was finally released in February 2017, but nine others continue to rot in prison in the most abominable conditions. Discontent with complete control over the traditional media, the authorities have steadily tightened their grip on the Internet in recent years, blocking access not only to independent news websites but also, more recently, to censorship circumvention tools and many instant messaging apps. They have also increased pressure on the small number of independent journalists who work clandestinely for Uzbekistan’s exile media.

in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index



166 in 2016

Global score


61.15 in 2016


  • 0
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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