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Civil society calls on Tajikistan to immediately release Alexander Sodiqov

The Civic Solidarity Platform, a coalition of more than 60 human rights NGOs across the OSCE region, expresses its strongest concern about the arrest of and allegations against Mr. Alexander Sodiqov in Tajikistan and urges authorities of Tajikistan to immediately release Mr. Sodiqov and refrain from bringing charges against him.

11 countries where you should think twice about insulting someone

11 countries where you should think twice about insulting someone

Insult laws can be very easily manipulated by those in positions of power to shut down and punish criticism

Naming and shaming: 8 countries egregiously violating religious freedom

Naming and shaming: 8 countries egregiously violating religious freedom

The U.S. State Department names and shames eight “Countries of Particular Concern” that severely violate religious freedom rights within their borders. Now an independent watchdog is naming and shaming the State Department, saying its list should be doubled. Brian Pellot reports

Tajikistan: Access to Facebook, news sites blocked

Local access to Facebook and two Russian-language websites has been blocked in Tajikistan, following articles critical of the country’s long serving president. Users attempting to access Facebook, tjknews.com or zvezda.ru are automatically re-directed to the home page of their provider. The shutdown was ordered by the state-run communications service after the two websites published articles

Tajikistan: Tajik journalist faces 16 years in jail

A Tajik journalist is facing 16 years in prison, following charges of defamation. Makhmadyusuf Ismoilov, a reporter for the independent weekly paper Nuri Zindagi, was arrested for defamation, insult, and incitement following an article in which he criticised government and law enforcement officials in the Asht district in the northern Sogd region

Tajikistan: BBC reporter claims he was tortured

A BBC World Service reporter who was arrested in Tajikistan this summer has said he was burned with lit cigarettes and beaten while detained. Although the specific charges against journalist Urunboy Usmanov remain unclear, he has been accused in the country’s state media of being a member of Hizb ut-Tahr an Islamist organisation

Tajikistan: BBC journalist appears in court

A BBC World Service journalist who was arrested in Tajikistan a month ago appeared in court yesterday. Although the specific charges against reporter Urunboy Usmanov remain unclear, he has been accused in the country’s state media of being a member of Hizbut-Tahrir, an extreme Islamist organisation which is banned in the

Opposition journalist beaten in Tajikistan

An opposition journalist has been hospitalised after being attacked near his home in Dushanbe. Khikmatullo Saifullozoda is the editor of  the Nadzhot newspaper, which is owned by the Islamic Renaissance of Tajikistan party. He sustained a concussion and his face was been badly disfigured in the incident. The Organisation for Security and

Free Microsoft licences to help combat censorship

Microsoft is extending its program of giving free software licences to non-profit organisations. The initiative was first applied to Russia, after it was discovered that authorities were using software piracy inquiries as a method of suppressing independent media outlets and advocacy groups. The program will now include 500,000 NGOs in

Tajiki independent weekly fined, more lawsuits follow

Lawsuits  were launched against four leading newspapers following a Dushanbe court’s decision to uphold a damages award against independent news weekly Paykon.  The damages award of 300,000 somoni (€49,000) was confirmed on 26 January. Paykon published an open letter to President Emomali Rakhmon from a number of businessmen accusing Tajikstandart, a government agency, of