Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

Thaw under way

Four years after President Islam Karimov’s death in August 2016, a thaw is under way in what was one of the world’s harshest dictatorships. The last imprisoned journalists – some of whom were held for nearly 20 years – have been released but have not been rehabilitated. Access to websites that were censored for years has been unblocked. Media registration has been made easier. Live political broadcasts have made an appearance and some journalists are now covering sensitive subjects such as corruption and forced labour. However, criticizing the highest level of government is still out of the question. The authorities are in no hurry to carry out the necessary reforms to the laws that constrain the media. Surveillance, censorship and self-censorship are still present and the authorities maintain a significant level of control over the media. Bloggers are still being threatened or arrested. Uzbekistan has reopened its doors to foreign and exile journalists but some journalists and media outlets, including the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, have found it difficult to obtain accreditation. 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.

156
in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+4

160 in 2019

Global score

-0.45

53.52 in 2019

Contacts

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