Turkmenistan granted freedom to mass media
Media and Internet, Politics and Society, Turkmenistan5 Comments
The first ever law regulating the mass media in Turkmenistan, started to work from 3 January. The corresponding decree, as reported TURKMENinform, was signed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The new law provides citizens of the republic free access to foreign media, prohibits censorship and will defend journalists against pressing by government officials.
Turkmenistan is one of the most repressive countries in the world for journalists. In the Press Freedom index by Reporters without borders (2011-2012) Turkmenistan ranks third from the end – the worse in only in North Korea and Eritrea.
Is there a chance that in the near future situation will changes?
New Year celebration in Ashgabat. Photo: website “Turkmenistan. Golden Age”
“No one can deny or ban the media to disseminate information of public interest, except in accordance with the law,” – says the new law.
For the first time in the life of the citizens of Turkmenistan have the right by law to use the media to express opinions and beliefs, to seek, receive and disseminate information, highlights Lenta.ru
Government will allocate funds from the state budget on the development of the media, as well as provide tax incentives to their founders.
What will get Turkmen people and journalists of this country from this law? How sincere desire Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to have free media in his own country? His colleagues from neighboring countries – Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have liberal media laws for a long time, and regularly give speeches in which they talk about freedom of speech and freedom of media. But there are no movement beyond the words.
Time will tell what exactly will change this law in Turkmenistan. We, of course, hope for the best!