OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir has called on the Tajik authorities to grant accreditations to Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service staff members. 

Mr. Desir made the call on his Twitter on January 23, as Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry has been reluctant to fully grant one-year accreditations to 18 journalists and staff members of the Tajik Service, locally known as Radio Ozodi.

“Accreditation of four journalists of Ozodi Radioi in #Tajikistan is a first step.  I hope accreditation will be granted to the entire team.  Journalists must be able to work freely without undue restrictions”, OSCE representative for freedom of the media tweeted.  

Recall, their credentials have been withheld or expired on November 1.

Radio Liberty says the Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan has since granted only partial accreditation to 11 members of the Tajik Service, which falls short of the year-long accreditations mandated by Tajik law, while seven Radio Ozodi correspondents remain without credentials.

Activities of OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media can be divided into two groups: observing media developments as part of an early warning function and helping participating States abide by their commitments to freedom of expression and free media. This includes efforts to ensure the safety of journalists; assist with the development of media pluralism; promote decriminalization of defamation; combat hate speech while preserving freedom of expression; provide expert opinions on media regulation and legislation; promote Internet freedom; and assist with the process of switching from analogue to digital broadcasting.  The Representative also holds annual regional media conferences, bringing together journalists, representatives of civil society and government, as well as academics, to discuss current media freedom issues.