Monday, 13 May 2002

UZBEKISTAN ABOLISHES MEDIA CENSORSHIP, EDITORS WARNED THEY BEAR RESPONSIBILITY

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By empty (5/13/2002 issue of the CACI Analyst)

Uzbekistan abolished today its policy of state censorship, but the landmark move was dampened by a clear warning to editors about their responsibility for the content of their newspapers. The Uzbek media has been tightly controlled by the government since a period of relative freedom just before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s. For the first time since then, state censors did not review the country\'s newspapers on Monday.
Uzbekistan abolished today its policy of state censorship, but the landmark move was dampened by a clear warning to editors about their responsibility for the content of their newspapers. The Uzbek media has been tightly controlled by the government since a period of relative freedom just before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s. For the first time since then, state censors did not review the country\'s newspapers on Monday. The chairman of the State Press Committee, Rustam Shagulyamov, explained the new rules to editors of the country\'s six official newspapers. Shagulyamov told the editors that from now on they would bear the responsibility for everything they publish, according to one of the editors present at the meeting. Shagulyamov did not elaborate on the consequences an editor would face for a judgment error. The committee\'s State Secrets Inspectorate, which was in charge of censoring newspapers and defining their editorial policies, remains in place and will continue to check newspaper editions to make sure they do not reveal any state secrets, the editor said on condition of anonymity. (AP)
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The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.

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