Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is arresting bloggers which has raised concern among the international journalist community. The Public elected Mirziyoyev for the third time. He is popular among the public as a reformist. Because he introduced important reforms like repressing children and forced labor. He also boosted up national economy by opening its door to foreign investments. But his recent actions regarding the arrest of bloggers show he is not much fan of freedom of speech.
During his third term rule, several YouTubers and bloggers were detained. The prominent YouTuber, Olimjon Haydarov has accusations of taking bribes from managers of shopping malls. Another popular blogger, Abduqodir Mominov has the same charges. So, the court sentenced seven years imprisonment for Mominov.
A number of Uzbek political commentators have spoken in defense of Haydarov and other bloggers. Ex-MP and public activist Rasul Kusherbayev said they don’t believe the charges against Haydarov. Kusherbayev said about the charges of Mominov, “The criminal allegations against Olimjon are simply a hypothesis of a law enforcement body. Only time will show what actually happened, that is if we survive until that time comes and transparency is still there.”
Critics observe the policy of Miziyoyev regarding bloggers as a violation of his own agendas. When he came into power in 2016, freedom of speech was the main motive of his election campaign. Even a large group of bloggers accompanied him during his election campaign. But recently the dynamics have really changed and have raised the questions about his pledge on the matter of free speech.
We are at a time of historic challenges for press freedom. Journalists worldwide are being persecuted.— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) October 2, 2023
We repeat our call for governments to defend press freedom and journalist safety to preserve and advance democracy.#PressFreedomIsYourFreedom.pic.twitter.com/YIUwUhi9Yz
At the beginning of his rule, he endorsed freedom of speech but during his third term of rule, bloggers and journalists have faced crackdowns. The International Committee of Journalists against the Act of Uzbekistan President Arresting Bloggers has asked Uzbek authorities to stop harassing bloggers. The committee demands the release of at least four bloggers. They were arrested for writing freely on religious issues.
The Uzbekistan President is arresting bloggers and journalists while the International community is strongly criticizing his actions.
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