After the publication of my editorial in the previous issue of Oasis, a certain website www.gzt.uz, which was allegedly created “with the assistance of the Public Fund for the Support and Development of Independent Print Media and News Agencies in Uzbekistan”, published a note entitled “What Not happy with Mr. Panfilov and K °? ". Of course, the creation is anonymous, and its style takes us away in the near days of the existence of propaganda departments of district committees, city committees, regional committees and the Central Committee. The text can be read on the above site, so I will not abuse the repetition of this “masterpiece”.
The reason for the emergence of anonymous letters are: my "unreasonable criticism" of the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On approval of the Basic Rules governing the professional activities of correspondents of foreign media outlets"; my ignorance of the “customs of our people,” that is, the people living in Uzbekistan; bewilderment about “where the legs of my article grow from” (precisely the legs); Finally, the conviction that I “must play the music of my customer.”
But the main thing that I was accused of was covering up those who "lost their illegal feeder after the entry into force of the above-mentioned document." And since the third paragraph begins with the words “Let me disagree with you, Mr. Panfilov,” I reply: I allow, but I will not let you write nonsense.
Usually, officials in Uzbekistan-like countries like to reproach journalists with non-traditional names for their locality in that they do not know the customs of the people. Forced to disappoint anonymous. Firstly, I was born in Khujand, 160 kilometers from Tashkent, and secondly, in my large family there are relatives of the Tajik and Uzbek nationalities. Thirdly, I have been professionally engaged in the history and ethnography of the peoples of Central Asia for a long time.
And now about the laws that are read by Uzbek officials selectively, as it suits them. Indeed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is charged with depriving journalists of their accreditation, but for some reason the authorities of Uzbekistan are not equal to the legal norms of democratic countries where accreditation has long existed as an institution, but for those states where deprivation of accreditation is a long-accepted measure of silencing those journalists which, in the opinion of the same officials, “slander”.
And if you need an example, then please: “any denial of accreditation leading to a restriction of the journalist’s freedom of movement or his access to information must be justified.” This is recorded in Principle 11 of Recommendation No. R (96) 4 “On the Protection of Journalists in Conflict and Tension” adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 1996.
The only amendment is that Uzbekistan is not a member of the Council of Europe, but, judging by the numerous allegations of President Karimov, it is very keen to be a civilized, democratic state. At the same time, Uzbekistan is a member of the OSCE, and when in 2002 the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media issued a report on the state of the media in Uzbekistan, the recommendations read: “Make the system of accreditation of foreign media in the Republic of Uzbekistan transparent and stop the practice of unfounded and illegal denials of accreditation to foreign media criticizing Uzbekistan. ”
As a member of the OSCE, Uzbekistan ignored these, as well as many other recommendations. Actually, the meaning of the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers is not at all to make the laws of Uzbekistan more approximate to international ones, but to create conditions under which Uzbek journalists working in foreign media feel the fear of possible punishment for their professional activity No wonder the author of an anonymous letter writes that in paragraph 22 of the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers it is written about registration with state tax authorities of journalists who dared to work in foreign media.
That's what it is! I repeat once again - a very strange decision. It is either written by an illiterate lawyer, or confirms the poor performance of the tax authorities of Uzbekistan. Or both, wrapped in a political shell. When officials lack arguments, they always try to find a “customer”, as if people cannot have their own opinion, but there should be only an opinion that benefits the official.
It is an ungrateful business to respond to nonsense, but I reserve the right to recall one more feature of Uzbekistan of recent times: several bills have been drafted in this country, which should substantially change the legal status of journalists. Who are these bills discussed? Journalists? No, the officials. Who will punish journalists? Officials Who determines the quality of the work of journalists? Officials! Who says the most about the fact that there is freedom of speech in Uzbekistan? Officials! And who benefits? Officials!
Everything that is happening now in Uzbekistan with the media is not a concern, but a sense of disaster. In a country where journalists working for foreign mass media are known beforehand, it’s stupid to scare them with taxes. But once again to remind that they receive money for their work not from the state feeder, but from foreign media, it is very important for propaganda. Therefore, the settlement of the situation of the work of journalists is associated with only one desire of officials: “Silence! Shut up! ”
And the last. Please open the secret of financing the Public Fund for the Support and Development of Independent Print Media and News Agencies in Uzbekistan, if they are not available in the country?