ARTICLE 19 has submitted a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on the situation of freedom of expression in Tajikistan. Our report highlights how Tajikistan’s legal framework for the right to freedom of expression is out of line with international human rights standards, including harmful provisions on defamation and insult, dissemination of false information and counter-terrorism. These provisions exist alongside continued harassment of journalists and website blocking of media outlets.
The UPR is a mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council through which the human rights’ record of each and every UN Member State is peer-reviewed by all other Member States. It is a cyclical process, with every State undergoing substantive review around every five years. Tajikistan will undergo its third review at the 39th Session of the Working Group of the UPR in October or November 2021.
In our submission, we highlight concerns relating to the right to freedom of expression and information in several key areas:
- Legal framework for freedom of expression;
- Restrictions on freedom of expression online; and,
- Media freedom and safety of journalists.
ARTICLE 19 details these concerns in detail in the submission and includes proposes concrete recommendations that States must direct to Tajikistan during the upcoming UPR.