Tuesday, March 03, 2015

RFE/RL's Tajik Service

RFE/RL’s Tajik language service is one of the most trusted media outlets in Tajikistan, connecting citizens with their political and civil society leaders in support of greater pluralism and better governance.

Fast Facts

  • Language: Tajik
  • Established: 1953
  • Distribution: Radio (SW, satellite), Internet (website, mobile, social media)
  • Coverage: Radio: 6 hours daily
  • Locations: Prague, Dushanbe
  • Staff: 25 (Prague and Dushanbe), 2 stringers

Media Environment

  • Most media outlets in Tajikistan are independent in name only. The government controls the majority of printing presses and broadcasting facilities, and influences the judiciary.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has discretion over the accreditation of foreign journalists, and withdrew the accreditation of veteran Radio Ozodi journalist Abduqayum Qayumov without cause in December 2012 -- the same month Qayumov was named Tajikistan's "Journalist of the Year" in a reader's poll sponsored by "Farazh" newspaper.
  • Despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press, journalists often face harassment and intimidation. In 2012, the government blocked access on several occasions to major international media websites, including Radio Ozodi's ozodi.org.
  • Tajikistan decriminalized defamation in 2012.


  • Radio Ozodi regularly interviews political and civil society leaders, connecting them with ordinary Tajiks in a way other media are unable or unwilling to do.
  • The Association of Internet Providers in Tajikistan ranked Radio Ozodi among the five most-read websites in Tajikistan in 2013. The Civil Initiative and Internet Policy Organization, an NGO, also ranked ozodi.org among the country’s top five websites in 2013 and 2012.
  • The Association of Persian-speaking Journalists “Afruz” named Ozodi as the best Tajik-language website in 2012.
  • In late 2012, Radio Ozodi video reports on cases of torture in Tajik detention centers and prisons prompted investigations that led prosecutors to open criminal proceedings against several police officers.
  • Radio Ozodi's September 2012 coverage of protests by students who had lost places at universities in Kazakhstan due to alleged nepotism by Tajik officials forced the government to reverse course and allow the students to begin their studies in Kazakhstan.
  • Radio Ozodi was recognized by the OSCE in 2011 "for objective coverage of press freedom issues and protection of journalists’ rights in Tajikistan."
  • Radio Ozodi’s reporting on the country’s economy won top honors in 2012 from Tajikistan’s Center for Free Markets.

updated: 20 August 2013

Facts & Stats

8.009 million (World Bank estimate, 2012)

Most Common Languages:
Tajik, Russian, Uzbek

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House):
Not Free, 172 out of 196 (2013)
Press Freedom Index (RSF):
123 out of 179 (2013)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
157 out of 174 (2012)

Global Peace Index (IES):
118 out of 162 (2013)

Human Rights Watch:
Report on Tajikistan (2013)

Amnesty International:
Tajikistan Report (2013)