OSCE hails decriminalization of articles of Tajik Criminal Code
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has welcomed the decision by the Tajik Parliament to make libel and insult a civil tort.
"I welcome President Emomali Rahmon's initiative and the Parliament's subsequent steps to decriminalize defamation. Once implemented, they will help safeguard freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Tajikistan," the OSCE said, ITAR-TASS reported.
The lower house of Parliament today unanimously approved a Presidential proposal to scrap Articles 135 (Defamation) and 136 (Insult) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan.
For the first time, the President of Tajikistan publicly stated about the need to exclude from the Criminal Code articles on defamation and insult in March at a meeting with media representatives, dedicated to the traditional Day of the Tajik press. Rahmon said "not all officials properly and objectively perceive criticism against them, and at every trifle take the matter to court."
He also called on journalists themselves to take greater responsibility for the printed and spoken public word.