Warsaw. 07.10.2019. The European Congress of Tajik Journalists and Bloggers condemns the illegal detention of two RFE/RL journalists in Dushanbe today.
The RFE/RL local reporters, Afsaneh Akabershah and Tahminah Hakimova, were arrested and taken into custody today while carrying out their professional journalistic activity. They were taken to police headquarters in Tajik Capital’s Ferdowsi district and were interrogated for about three hours, even though they identified themselves as journalists on the spot. The police have also deleted the video footage taken by the reporters without their consent.
They were released almost three hours later, however, four security officers in civil uniforms have forcibly entered the RFE/RL office premises subsequently and forced the local staff to remove a report about the arrest of their colleagues published on RFE/RL website. The RFE/RL staff refused to do so.
The European Congress of Tajik Journalists and Bloggers strongly condemns this hideous act of transgression and abuse of power which is a serious infringement of the rights of journalists. We call on the Tajik Interior Ministry supported in its pursuit of reforms by the European Union to fairly enquire and assess the incident and hold persons responsible for this incident accountable.
We also call on the media community as well as members of the civil society to report every single case of human rights violations, such as pressure on media and harassment of journalists, by not staying aloof from these issues and doing more to defend the citizens’ right to information proactively.
Board of the European Congress of Tajik Journalists and Bloggers