Join the Real Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan!

Uznews.net – Uzbek journalists have formed the Real Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan to protect their professional rights and interests and elected the editor-in-chief of Uznews.net, Galima Bukharbaeva, as chairwoman of the Union.

The idea of setting up the real union of real journalists of Uzbekistan, Galima Bukharbaeva said, emerged a few years ago and Uzbek journalists were close to its establishment in spring 2005, but all the plans were wrecked by the massacre in Andijan on 13 May 2005.

Repressions that followed the bloody events in Uzbekistan mainly aimed at journalists: thanks to them, the whole world learnt about the massacre unleashed by the Uzbek government. These repressions did not only thwart journalists’ plans, but practically killed the very community of independent journalists that had existed in the country by that time.

Bukharbaeva said that the journalist community of Uzbekistan had not yet recovered because the country still does not have the level of freedoms that had existed in Uzbekistan before the Andijan massacre.

“However, the unfolding events and, above all, the murder of our colleague Alisher Saipov tell us that we do not have time for procedural bureaucracy, we should unite and protect our right to be a journalist,” Bukharbaeva said.

The chairwoman of the Union said that the new organisation already had 10 members and that the Union expected more people and more colleagues to join it, because they need to support from their colleagues, as well as offer this support to them.

“Of course, journalists working in Uzbekistan may face problems if the authorities learn about their membership,” Bukharbaeva said. “That is why we guarantee that this information will be held only within the Union and be known only to its leaders.”

People will soon see the results of the Union’s activities because this Union has not been set up for ticking boxes, but it is Real, Bukharbaeva said.

APPEAL TO COLLEAGUES

Journalism is turning into a dangerous profession in Uzbekistan. Extremely dangerous one. This has been proven by the vile murder of our colleague Alisher Saipov in Osh on 24 October 2007.

And the issue of journalists uniting into a union has become very urgent now, as never before. It may seem eloquent, but our strength is in unity – not in sham unity like the pro-government Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan but in real mutual help between independent journalists of Uzbekistan.

We are so few there that it is very easy for the totalitarian machine of Islam Karimov to destroy us all one by one.

It is high time we united into the Real Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan (RUJU) and became reliable support for one another. Only united will we have a chance to survive at this fateful time for the Uzbek people.

Should we convince you and you have decided to join our independent community, the brotherhood of writers, all you need to do is to fill in this application to join the RUJU.

APPLICATION

Name

Surname

Pen name (if you use one)

Age

Experience in journalism

Media outlet you are cooperating with now

Contacts (email, telephone, addresses)

Please send your application at galima@uznews.net or apply online by clicking Feedback on the Uznews.net website (an envelop sign on the upper right corner).

The RUJU guarantees the confidentiality of information provided. Should you decide not to disclose your membership of the RUJU, please indicate this by adding a line in your application.

Thank you very much,

Your colleagues

From the Real Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan.