Turkmenistan granted freedom to mass media

President of Turkmenistan signed first law on the media in history of this country, which should eliminate censorship and release journalists from the shackles of government control. What will come out of this initiative?

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.

Wonderful neighborhood!

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!

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  • I’m really surprised that neweurasia would publish as un-critical a post as this about Turkmenistan. Come on Sanjar, this is just more form over substance. Have you ever read the Turkmeni constitution? You’d swear that they were more democratic than France! Because it’s just public relations and empty liberalist ritual, and that’s what this regime does and has always done.

    • @Averroes, Well, this post is un-critical. It’s sceptical. And a little bit ironical.
      I have read Uzbek constitution, and i’m sure, that Turkmenian is not far from that. Buy we think, that almost all our readers knows this facts.
      You need to read our headline as Turkmenistan “granted” freedom to mass media. I just removed quotes from word “freedom”, because i think that irony will be too fat with them.

      • @Sanjar, why do you think the regime has done this? the people must know from experience that it has no meaning right?

      • @G. Angel, I didn’t said, that regime has done this. I just noticed, that president has signed this law.
        In Central Asia you never know, what will be tomorrow, and what president really want to do.
        From all experience that i have about Turkmenistan, i think, that this law will be just simple paper. But we need to keep in mind, that sometime law in Central Asia can surprisingly works)

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