Monday, November 30, 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: 9 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.
  • Despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press, journalists often face harassment and intimidation. Five journalists and many media outlets, including Radio Ozodi, have been subject to judicial proceedings launched to harass and intimidate independent voices.
  • 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.
  • Access to Radio Ozodi’s websites within Tajikistan was blocked by government authorities several times in 2015 in response to news reporting posted by the Service. In May, access was restored only after two weeks of criticism by U.S. Embassy and international organization officials, after Radio Ozodi broke the news of Tajik Interior Ministry Special Forces commander Colonel Gulmurod Halimov’s defection to ISIL.


  • 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.
  • In 2015, the Tajik Service's website is regularly attracting more than one million users per month, and more than one million views on its YouTube page. Tajik Service articles and videos are cited regularly by local and international media.
  • 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 among the country’s top five websites in 2013 and 2012.
  • Radio Ozodi is a trailblazer in its coverage of serious political, economic, social and cultural issues and helps widen the space for freedom of speech in Tajikistan.
  • The International conference of combating extremism in Dushanbe was opened with Radio Ozodi video report about Tajiks joined ISIS. Experts said Tajik Service reporting on this issue drew the attention of the Tajik government and society to the serious domestic issue of Islamic radicalization.
  • Four Tajik Service reporters were awarded by Tajik and international organizations for coverage of the election, security, new media technologies, discrimination, ecology and business reporting.
  • Radio Ozodi has demonstrated its capacity and team work covering military operation in Badakhshan, Tajik nurse’s fate abducted by terrorists in Yemen, assassination of the Tajik opposition leader in Istanbul, parliamentary elections in Tajikistan, Tajik-Kyrgyz border disputes, Ukrainian events and many others.

Updated: 24 August 2015

Facts & Stats

8.208 million (World Bank estimate, 2013)

Most Common Languages:
Tajik, Russian, Uzbek

Press Freedom Index (Freedom House):
Not Free, 179 out of 199 (2015)
Press Freedom Index (RSF):
116 out of 180 (2015)

Corruption Index (Transparency Int.):
152 out of 175 (2014)

Global Peace Index (IES):
126 out of 162 (2014)

Human Rights Watch:
Report on Tajikistan (2015)

Amnesty International:
Tajikistan Report (2014/2015)