14:52 / 27.04.2022
“We need to develop independent and free journalism” – Komil Allamjonov voiced his concerns about Uzbek press

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Public Fund for Support and Development of National Media Komil Allamjonov commented on the Uzbek press at an event in Geneva with the participation of heads of international organizations, human rights activists, ambassadors of European and Asian countries.

Komil Allamjonov first spoke about how the Uzbek press looked like yesterday.

“It covers 1991 and 2016. First the press appeared, then it died. It has become so deadly that young people who have graduated from journalism universities have moved on to trade or a completely different field. Radio, television, and newspapers worked for only one person. Journalists have no reputation in the society. Until recently, 98% of newspapers in Uzbekistan lived only on compulsory subscriptions, because they were so boring that people couldn’t buy them on their own. Government offices were closed, and the press services had a name. If a minister appeared more on television, he would be punished. Censorship was high.

Since human rights were so low, the value of cotton was higher than a man. Education was in crisis. As a result, one generation became ignorant. But in the eyes of international organizations, we have tried to present ourselves as a democratic state. Various declarations were signed, but all were only on paper. We can talk about it for hours,” Allamjonov said.

According to him, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who came to power in 2016, called journalists his supporters and friends.

“At first, many didn’t believe it. But in practice, it all happened as stated. We – Saida Shavkatovna and I – have been tasked to raise the press to the level of a real 4th power. The most important thing our team did was to unblock all blocked foreign media, international human rights sites, bbc.com/uzbek, Deutsche Welle, FERGANA.RU., Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International. In 280 state organizations, the press service was reorganized and press secretaries were equated to the deputy head of the organization. A special AIMC organization has been set up with a high status,” he said.

It is noted that at first there were mistakes. Officials who did not know how to work with the press were also embarrassed. Inexperienced journalists and bloggers were also spotted.

“Our foundation serves as a protector for many journalists and bloggers. Because during the awakening, not only law but also administrative protection was important.

Laws have been revised. The biggest thing our foundation has done is that we have succeeded in abolishing imprisonment for slander and insult. We have always put forward the idea that journalists and bloggers should not be imprisoned for what they say.

Before making any reforms, officials began to think about what journalists will say and what people will say,” K. Allamjonov said.

It was noted that the concept of human dignity has emerged in Uzbekistan. Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s election campaign was based on the idea of “For the dignity of man”.

“That’s why the people voted for him. Because we have realized how high a blessing our rights and our freedom were for us.

We know what sanctions are, what a disconnection from the world is, and most importantly, the President understands this very well. Of course, there are problems. There are those who miss the old system, and there are forces that try to shut our mouths. But we felt what human dignity and freedom were. So we won’t let anyone destroy it. We will fight to the end for this,” he noted.

It is reported that there is a political will for freedom of speech and press, and measures have been taken.

“We need to develop independent and free journalism. Especially given the pressure on Uzbekistan in today’s foreign policy, it is necessary not to fall victim to the aggression and violence of foreign propaganda.

Our press and its security should not depend on individuals, but on the laws and the system that is created to work. The legal literacy of our journalists and bloggers needs to be further enhanced. It is necessary to increase the media literacy of the population.

That is why we need constant cooperation with foreign organizations. We call on foreign organizations in this direction to work together with Uzbekistan on more projects. You should know that our mission is not being indifferent and contributing to the improvement of human life,” Komil Allamjonov concluded.