Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Jan. 7 /Trend H. Hasanov /
The law 'On mass media' has come into force in Turkmenistan establishing regulations for collection, dissemination of information, determining rights, obligations and responsibilities of individuals, journalists and entities, as well as regulating their activities, an official Turkmen source said on Monday.
The article of the law states that the right to establish a mass media institution belongs to state administration bodies, local executive authorities and local self-government, political parties and other public associations, legal entities and Turkmen citizens who have reached the age of 18, or their associations.
The state guarantees the right of mass media for freedom of expression.
'No one can prohibit or prevent the media from disseminating information of public interest', the law says.
Turkmen citizens have the right to use any form of mass media to express their opinions and beliefs, search, receive and disseminate information.
The new law also guarantees free access of Turkmen citizens to the reports and materials of the foreign mass media.
Turkmen government policy is based on the principles of banning: media censorship except in cases stipulated by the country's legislation; creation of bodies for preliminary control of information; influencing entities, preparing and distributing information and pressurising journalists to present incorrect and biased information in the media.
The law also noted that the liability grounds for media abuse are: using information of the media which happens to be state or other secrets protected by law; an appeal to the violent change of constitutional order, propaganda of war, violence and cruelty, racial, ethnic or religious hatred, discrimination or intolerance, distribution of pornography and other criminal acts.