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Rahmon Says Freedom Of Speech 'Respected' In Tajikistan

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon says freedom of speech exists in his country because there are "hundreds" of private media outlets in Tajikistan.

At a ceremony for the Tajik Constitution's 20th anniversary in Dushanbe on November 5, Rahmon said Tajikistan has 307 private and 209 state-owned publications, 49 private and 19 state broadcasting outlets, as well as dozens of private news agencies.

Though nominally independent, most publications in Tajikistan refrain from reporting on political issues or exercise self-censorship regarding stories related to the government.

International rights monitor Freedom House reports that in 2013 "intimidation and violence against journalists persisted" in Tajkistan.

Meanwhile, Facebook, some Russian social networks, and several local and regional online news sites have been inaccessible in Tajikistan for several weeks and intermittently for the past several months.

Constitution Day will be marked on November 6.

With reporting by

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