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Tajik Governor Orders Better Regional Media Access

Ghaibullo Afzalov, the governor of Tajikistan's Khatlon Province

Ghaibullo Afzalov, the governor of Tajikistan's Khatlon Province

QURGHON-TEPPA, Tajikistan -- The governor of Tajikistan's southern Khatlon Province has ordered local authorities to increase the number of media outlets in the region, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Ghaibullo Afzalov announced today that Khatlon's population does not have sufficient access to news and information via traditional media platforms, which he said is a threat to Tajikistan's national security.

Nusratullo Abdulloev, the editor in chief of a regional newspaper in Khatlon's Khuroson district, told RFE/RL that he fully agrees with Afzalov's statement, adding that 2.5 million citizens in Khatlon do not have enough newspapers to receive the latest international and domestic news.

A Tajik media analyst, Jamoliddin Saifiddinov, told RFE/RL that residents of Tajikistan's Qabodyon, Shahritus, and Nosiri Khisrav districts, which border Uzbekistan, watch mainly Uzbek TV stations because the Tajik television channels have a very weak signal in the region.

Khatlon TV Deputy Director Sherali Saidov confirmed Saifiddinov's assessment of the TV reception in those areas and said the Khatlon TV channel is not even available in the region's Kulob district, which borders Afghanistan.