The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to call on authorities of the five Central Asian republics to halt their crackdown on the press.
In a letter to Kerry, who is scheduled to visit Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan this week, the New York-based group specifically asked the U.S. top diplomat to “publicly call” on government officials in these countries to release all journalists imprisoned in relation to their work.
The letter dated October 28 reads that freedom of the press has “steadily worsened” in all five Central Asia countries, citing “bans on distribution, draconian legislation, and online censorship, and critical journalists and bloggers have been subject to politicized prosecution, violent attacks, murder, and imprisonment.”
“All of our findings have been reflected in reports and statements issued by the State Department,” CPJ also said.
(The letter is available at: https://www.cpj.org/2015/10/cpj-urges-kerry-to-call-for-release-of-imprisoned-.php)