The Tajik Foreign Ministry has revoked the accreditation of six correspondents from RFE/RL’s Tajik Service.
The ministry said in a phone call on November 25 that the reason for withdrawing the accreditation was the service’s refusal to remove a story about President Emomali Rahmon’s daughter, Rukhshona Rahmonova, being appointed as the head of the International Relations Department of the Tajik Foreign Ministry. The report was based on a post on the Foreign Ministry’s website that was further confirmed to the broadcaster by a source at the ministry.
Officials gave RFE/RL five minutes to remove the story, saying otherwise the Dushanbe-based correspondents would lose their accreditation. The ministry followed through on the suspension in the afternoon on November 25 after RFE/RL checked the sourcing of the report and decided to stand by the story.
The six people who lost their accreditation had nothing to do with the news about the appointment of the Tajik president’s daughter. The Foreign Ministry refused to give any other reason for the suspensions.
RFE/RL officially protested the ministry’s decision, which RFE/RL President Thomas Kent called “a blatant attack on our ability to do our jobs as journalists.”
The media accreditation was restored 10 days after the revocation on December 6 after the Tajik Foreign Ministry reissued their accreditation on December 5.
Earlier in November, Tajik officials demanded the removal of a report on a U.S. State Department message warning American travelers about the risk of terrorist activity in Tajikistan. RFE/RL refused to remove that story, too.