CPJ sends letters to authorities Asks for details about 29 murdered journalists and outlines concerns about criminal defamation and access to information

New York, August 27, 2003— Following a two-week mission to Tajikistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists sent letters today to Azizmat Imomov, Tajikistan’s deputy prosecutor general, and Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, parliamentary chairman and mayor of the capital, Dushanbe.

The letters were based on three-days of intensive meetings with government officials in which the CPJ delegation expressed deep concerns that those who murdered journalists during Tajikistan’s bloody 1992-1997 civil war have not been brought to justice. The delegation consisted of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and CPJ board member Josh Friedman, CPJ deputy director Joel Simon, and CPJ Europe and Central Asia program coordinator Alex Lupis.

The letter to Imomov (click here, to read the letter) provided a list of 29 journalists who were murdered during and after the civil war and asked for more details about these cases. During a meeting on July 21, Imomov agreed to receive the letter and respond within 30 days of receipt.

In the letter to Ubaidulloyev (click here, to read the letter), CPJ outlined specific concerns about Tajikistan’s criminal defamation laws and problems regarding journalists’ access to government information.