DUSHANBE, March 6, Asia-Plus  -- A republican media conference formally titled “Access to Information: Achievements and Prospects” was held in Dushanbe on Saturday, March 4.  The conference was dedicated to the first anniversary of President Rahmonov’s decree obligating ministers, department heads, and local officials to give quarterly news conferences.  Rahmonov signed the decree on March 4, 2005    

            The conference staged by the information-analytical department within the President’s Executive Office in cooperation with the National Association of Independent Media of Tajikistan (Nansmit) brought together representatives from both state-run and independent print and electronic media as well as press services.

During the conference it was noted that representatives of state institutions and other structures should observe the law and the interests of society in allowing citizens to exercise their right to obtain socially significant information through the media.

Karomatullo Olimov, State Adviser to the President for Social Matters, Suhrob Shairpov, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the President of Tajikistan, and Nuriddin Qarshiboyev, head of the Nansmit, as well as A. Vohidov, coordinator of this media watchdog’s project for monitoring violations of press freedoms in Tajikistan, gave papers at the conference   on a state of access to information.   

In their papers, they assessed a level of access to information in the republic and a level of openness of state institutions as well as obstacles on the way of enhancing access to information of significance for society.  

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Extraordinary Situations were rated as “the most closed” in terms of access to information.