Tajikistan: Draft Mass Media Law
30 Jun 2011
- The provisions of Article 7 of the Draft Law should be amended in a way that the registration system applies to print media only
- Article 9 of the Draft Law should be revised in line with Articles 19 para 3 and Article 20 of the ICCPR;
- Article 9 of the Draft Law should require that each restriction on freedom of expression should be set out in law and be necessary for the achievement of the legitimate interests explicitly provided in Article 19 para 3 of the ICCPR.
- Protection of the territorial integrity and independence of the state should be excluded from Article 9 of the Draft Law, and definitions of “propaganda” and “advertisement of licentious and amoral life style” should be included or alternatively these terms should be replaced with clearer ones.
- Article 26 of the Draft Law (Journalist Rights) should incorporate the right of journalists not to disclose information identifying a source except when ordered by a court.
- Article 25 of the Draft Law should make it clear that a court order for disclosure cannot be made unless:
- reasonable alternative measures to disclosure do not exist or have been exhausted;
- disclosure is justified by an overriding requirement in the public interest;
- the circumstances are of a sufficiently vital and serious nature to justify overriding this important right.
- Article 21 of the Draft Law should be revised excluding private media from the obligation to publish official information by state bodies for free.
- Articles 23 and 24 of the Draft Law are redundant in view of the access to information regime established by the Law on Information and therefore both provisions should be removed. Alternatively, Article 24 of the Draft Law should incorporate a harm test and a public interest override.
- Article 28 of the Draft Law should be amended to provide for an independent body to accredit journalists in a view of restricting the opportunities of the State, political and public organisations and movements to accredit only journalists who are loyal or sympathetic to them.
- Alternatively, recourse to accreditation should be allowed only if it is impossible to provide space for all interested journalist to attend meetings and follow the activities of a particular body.
- Articles 57(1), 58(4) and 68(1)-(4) of the Draft Law should be eliminated.
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