On November 21, 2019, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir presented a report on his activities in the current year to the Permanent Council of the organization.
In the part regarding Uzbekistan, the document notes the level of cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agency for Information and Mass Communications under the Presidential Administration of Uzbekistan (AIMC), substantive negotiations held by Harlem Désir with Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov during the London conference on media freedom in July and intensive interaction with the AIMC Director Komil Allamjonov.
The OSCE Representative emphasizes the cooperation with AIMC on a wide range of issues, including an expert assessment of draft new laws developed by Uzbekistan in the field of media freedom, in particular, the draft law “On television and radio broadcasting”.
The report also noted the second Central Asian judicial forum on ensuring freedom of the media in the fight against illegal content, planned by the office of Harlem Désir together with AIMC (Samarkand, February 2020).
In turn, the Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the OSCE Sherzod Asadov provided detailed information on the large-scale reforms carried out under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the field of ensuring freedom of speech and the safety of journalists. Initiatives were also outlined for legislation in the field of media, support for bloggers and other representatives of the media, introduction of the institution of Ombudsman to protect the interests of the journalistic community.
The achieved level of interaction between the office of Harlem Désir, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and AIMC was especially noted. Attention was drawn to the successful holding in Samarkand of an international “roundtable” on media freedom in Uzbekistan, which was attended by representatives of 20 OSCE member states.
During the meeting, the Uzbek side also gave detailed comments on certain issues and the incident in the information space of Uzbekistan, which fall under the mandate of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.