The Director of the Information and Mass Communications Agency (IMCA) under the President Administration, Komil Allamjonov, on his Facebook page, announced that access to news websites previously blocked in Uzbekistan had been restored.
The agency said earlier it would “thoroughly study the unease of access to certain news websites, mentioned by the SCE Media Freedom Representative, Harlem Desir, who in April had called on the Uzbek authorities to end the blocking of media outlets and urged to undertake reforms of the media laws and regulations.
“As a result of the study, certain technical problems were identified that hampered the full access of these media outlest in Uzbekistan, and appropriate measures were taken to eliminate them,” the chief of IMCA said.
At the time of publication, access to Voice of America, Amerika Ovozi, BBC Uzbek Service, Deutsche Welle, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters sans frontieres, Eurasianet.org, Asia Terra, Fergana, Centre1, Uzmetronom and some other websites has been restored. Sites of Radio Liberty and its Uzbek service are still not accessible.
At the same time, Komil Allamjonov called on foreign media outlets and the journalistic community as a whole "to adhere to the principles of professional journalistic ethics in their activities, not to publish misleading and biased information, and not to allow the dissemination of unfounded rumors and speculations."
He noted that the president "constantly emphasizes the need to ensure freedom of speech and media in Uzbekistan," and that the agency continues to "strengthen the journalists’ status, develop the media environment and citizen journalism, improve the legal framework, increase the transparency and openness of government bodies."