DUSHANBE, July 19, Asia-Plus — The upper house (Majlisi Milli) has seconded amendments to the country’s Penal Code criminalizing defamation in Internet.  

 The 12th session of the Majlisi Milli of the third convocation that was held in Dushanbe on July 19 seconded amendments made to a number of articles of Tajikistan’s Penal Code criminalizing the defamation and insult laws. 

Henceforth, distribution of obviously false information defaming a person’s honor, dignity or reputation through Internet is punishable by…up to two years in correctional labor jail.  Under the amendments, defamation contained in public addresses, publicly demonstrated works or mass media and Internet is punishable by …up to two years in jail.          

The overwhelming majority of members of the Majlisi Milli voted for the amendments.  

Commenting on these amendments, the deputy leader of the Social-Democratic Party (SDPT), Shokirjon Hakimov, told Asia-Plus that the amendments made to the Tajik Penal Code are aimed at restricting freedom of speech and freedom of criticism in the country.  “These amendments will be used the powers that be to protect their interests.”