Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

CPJ Calls For Probe Into 'Repugnant' Threats Against RFE/RL's Uzbek Service Staff Ahead Of Poll.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is urging authorities in Uzbekistan to swiftly investigate the numerous online death threats received by staff members of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service ahead of next week's presidential election, and to ensure that the journalists can work safely.

The "unprecedented and repugnant" threats made to the RFE/RL employees in recent days should trigger a "clear response" from the authorities, the New York-based media-freedom watchdog said in a statement on October 21.

"No journalist should have to work in the face of such threats, and the Uzbek government should take immediate steps to investigate these threats’ origins and hold those responsible to account," said Gulnoza Said, CPJ's Europe and Central Asia program coordinator.

On a single day, October 16, mostly anonymous users of the Telegram messaging app sent dozens of death threats to staff members of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, known in Uzbekistan as Ozodlik.

Over the course of 30 minutes, the service's Telegram channel received posts hurling insults at staff members and their mothers, and carrying threats of beheadings and sexual assaults. The posts were accompanied by images with pornographic elements.

Many of the images appeared to have been created by the same person or group, as they featured an identical caption reading, "Ozodlik's real goal is to marshal a mutiny in Uzbekistan, to disrupt peace, to discredit our president."

The service's Telegram communication managers found out that at least two threats came from accounts associated with users promoting the Uzbek government's policies related to the armed forces.

RFE/RL President Jamie Fly called the online threats "disgusting," and urged the government in Tashkent to immediately end its intimidation tactics against independent media.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has positioned himself as a democratic reformer after he took over Central Asia's most populous state following the death of authoritarian predecessor Islam Karimov in September 2016.

However, arrests and attacks on bloggers and journalists have been on the rise across Uzbekistan ahead of a presidential election scheduled for October 24.

The website of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service was blocked several times, and RFE/RL's requests for official accreditation of its correspondents in the country have remained unanswered.

Uzbekistan ranked 157th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

Related news
Moscow Prosecutor Demands  Four Years In Prison For Rebellious Priest.

Moscow Prosecutor Demands Four Years In Prison For Rebellious Priest.

Prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to sentence an ultraconservative, coronavirus-denying Russian priest who was stripped of his religious rank to four years in prison on charges of vigilantism, violating the right to religious freedom, and enco...

Radio Free Europe

Turkey Offers To Mediate Between Ukraine, Russia

Turkey Offers To Mediate Between Ukraine, Russia

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is ready to act as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia, even with strained relations between Ankara and Moscow over the sale of armed drones to Kyiv earlier this year.

Radio Free Europe

Snow expected to blanket parts of the Northeast this weekend.

Snow expected to blanket parts of the Northeast this weekend.

Snowy, wintry weather is expected for parts of the Northeast this weekend, just as many people travel home after Thanksgiving break. CBS News Meteorologist and Climate Specialist Jeff Berardelli joins CBSN's Lana Zak for the latest forecast. CBSN ...

Indian Man Builds Taj Mahal Replica Home for Wife

Indian Man Builds Taj Mahal Replica Home for Wife

A lovestruck and historically minded Indian husband has emulated the world's most famous display of marital devotion by building a replica of the Taj Mahal for his wife. It cost $200,000 (15 million rupees) to build. The original Taj Mahal, dubbed...

Expert says this is the most important thing we need to know about Omicron.

Expert says this is the most important thing we need to know about Omicron.

Dr. Peter Hotez discusses the Omicron variant and when we'll know if vaccines are effective against it. #CNN #News

‘Freak show caucus’: Acosta responds to Boebert’s remark.

‘Freak show caucus’: Acosta responds to Boebert’s remark.

CNN's Jim Acosta reacts to Rep. Lauren Boebert's (R-CO) recent racist comments and the lack of action from GOP leadership. #CNN #News

1 539

Writer says non-supporters are using Trump’s lie

Writer says non-supporters are using Trump’s lie

David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, argues that non-supporters of former President Trump are using his "Russia hoax" lie to their own advantage. #CNN #News

1 201

Retailers hire private security amid crime surge

Retailers hire private security amid crime surge

'The Big Saturday Show' panel weighs in as states like California face smash-and-grab thefts during holiday season #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-enco...