PRAGUE — During visits to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan this week, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) President & CEO Jamie Fly met with top government officials, human rights activists and independent journalists to discuss the vital role that RFE/RL`s journalism plays in advancing democracy in the region.
In Uzbekistan, Fly met with Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairwoman of Senate, the upper house of the Uzbek parliament, Asadjon Khodjaev, Director of the Agency of Information and Mass Communications in addition to several other government institutions. Fly discussed with the Uzbek government RFE/RL’s interest in improving its ability to report from inside Uzbekistan for its Uzbek audiences. RFE/RL had to close its bureau in Tashkent in 2005 after government pressure on RFE/RL journalists. He also called on the government to stop blocking RFE/RL’s Uzbek language website.
Fly also met with Komil Allamjonov, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Public Foundation for Support and Development of National Mass Media as well as a group of Uzbek bloggers and activists to discuss the state of media freedom in Uzbekistan.
During his visit to Kazakhstan, Fly met with Aida Balaeva, deputy head of the Presidential Administration, Roman Vassilenko, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Askar Umarov, the Minister of Information and Social Development. In meetings with the officials, Fly discussed RFE/RL’s commitment to independent reporting for Kazakh audiences and the Kazakh government’s plans to reform Kazakhstan’s media law.
During Fly’s visit, RFE/RL launched a Special Project “Victims of Bloody January” with a list and stories of victims of the January 5-8 uprising in Kazakhstan and held an event in Almaty with other media organizations and human rights groups to discuss the effort to uncover the truth about those who were killed.
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Contact Martins Zvaners
Deputy Director of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC