Thaw under way

Three years after President Islam Karimov’s death, a thaw has begun in what was one of the planet’s harshest dictatorships. The last imprisoned journalists – some of whom had been held for nearly 20 years – have been released but have not been rehabilitated. Live political broadcasts have made an appearance and some media outlets are now covering sensitive subjects such as corruption and forced labour. But criticizing the highest level of government is still out of the question. Surveillance, censorship and self-censorship are still present and the authorities maintain a significant level of control over the media. Many news websites continue to be inaccessible, Facebook and YouTube were often blocked in 2018 and several bloggers were arrested. Uzbekistan has reopened its doors to foreign and exile journalists but very few permanent accreditations have been issued. It will be hard to fully restore press freedom without political pluralism and without justice for the dictatorship’s crimes. The road is still long.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



165 in 2018

Global score


60.84 in 2018


  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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