Human Rights Watch

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Uzbekistan: Journalists Prosecuted, Harassed

Despite Media Freedom Advances, Long Way to Go

Wednesday 28 March 2018

(Tashkent, March 28, 2018) – Politically motivated prosecutions and censorship keep Uzbekistan’s media outlets, journalists, and other government critics self-censoring and under pressure, despite an improved landscape for open debate and critical reporting, Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. These actions undermine President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s stated reform goals.

The 37-page report, “You Can’t See Them, But They’re Always There: Censorship and Freedom of the Media in Uzbekistan,” examines the situation for journalists, media outlets, and the exercise of free speech since Mirziyoyev assumed the presidency in September 2016. Human Rights Watch found that despite positive moves such as easing certain restrictions on free expression, censorship remains a potent force and the authorities selectively prosecute journalists, writers, and ordinary citizens expressing critical views.

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