Uzbekistan is a great place for melons but not for Western Journalists
It is never considered a highlight to end the week on bad news but we were again turned away in our quest to be recognized professionally in Uzbekistan for journalistic credentials. At present we are allowed to enter and travel inside Uzbekistan but not on official missions for journalistic purposes according to the Foreign Ministry.
This presents several problems which are:
- Cameras, laptops and recording equipment can be seized and confiscated at the slightest suspicion that we are doing the work of journalism.
- We can be arrested and held without diplomatic protection accorded most accredited journalists.
- If we leave the country and file reports later which the government deems harmful or offensive we can be either denied entry in the future or arrested after future entry.
We have appealed the decision to deny accreditation. The Mendeleyev Journal is a recognized member of professional journalists in most countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including the Congress of Russian Journalists; ZHURNALISTY.RU (Journalists of Russia); ZHURNALISTY.UA (Journalists of Ukraine); ZHURNALISTY.KZ (Journalists of Kazakhstan); journalists portal (Portal of Russian-Ukrainian Journalists); and Just Journalists (“Just Journalists”).
We operate in Belarus and Moldova independently but have hope of being recognized in those countries soon although it would be an understatement to say that the government of Belarus is not particularly happy with our staff or organization at present.
Send a good wish our way for future success in applications. Like Belarus, Uzbekistan is an oppressive dictatorship and quite negative about the presence of Western based journalists.
We admire the people of Uzbekistan and the other “Stans” and often point out that this area of the world is home to the famous “silk road” where ancient traders made their way across present day Uzbekistan long before Christ was born. Centuries later Alexander the Great came to the region and married the daughter of local chieftain near Samarkand in a marriage to encourage political cooperation and trade.
Meanwhile we invite readers to enjoy learning more about Uzbekistan and seeing photos at this link.