Praising the “Leader of the Nation”
Now officially titled “Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation,” President Emomali Rakhmon increasingly indulges his authoritarian tendencies, thereby threatening the fragile national consensus built after a civil war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1997. Government pressure compounded by an economic crisis has resulted in the closure of most independent media outlets, a great deal of self-censorship, and the departure of dozens of journalists into self-imposed exile. Harassment by the intelligence services, intimidation and blackmail are now part of the daily routine for the journalists who have stayed behind. The authorities continue to reinforce their control of communications, while the blocking of the main news websites and social networks is now virtually permanent. 2018 was marked by former journalist Khayrullo Mirsaidov’s detention for eight months, the closure of the newspapers Ozodagon and Payk, and intermittent spikes in Internet censorship.
149 in 2018
50.06 in 2018