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New Turkmen Law Promises Freedom Of Media

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov
The repressive Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan has passed a new law guaranteeing freedom of the media.

The law, which came into effect on January 4, states that "nobody can prohibit or impede the media from disseminating information of public interest" and that citizens of Turkmenistan have the right to use any form of media to express their opinions.

The new law also prohibits censorship.

Turkmenistan routinely ranks among the worst countries in the world in terms of media freedom, with the United Nations describing the state as wielding "absolute" control over the country's television, newspapers, and magazines.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is a shareholder in nearly all of the country's leading newspapers.

Turkmenistan's first private newspaper, "Rysgal," was launched in 2011 by one of the government's two political parties.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Golos Rossii

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