Uzbekistan - Media

Telephone links to other former Soviet Republics are provided by land link or microwave and to other countries through Moscow. In 1999, there were 1.98 million main telephone lines. In 1998, there were 26,000 cellular phones in use. Radio Tashkent, established in 1947, broadcasts in Uzbek, English, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, Arabic, and Uighur. There is also a television station in Tashkent, and satellite earth stations receive Orbita and INTELSAT. As of 1998, there were 20 AM and 7 FM radio broadcast stations and 4 television stations. In 2000, there were 456 radios and 276 television sets in use for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 7,500 Internet subscribers served by 42 service providers.

Though there are privately-owned newspapers, the government owns all of the publishing house and must grant approval for all publications printed. The most widely read dailies include Khalk Suzi (2002 circulation 52,000), Pravda Vostoka (35,000), and Sovet Uzbekistoni. The weekly Narodnoye Slovo has a circulation of 21,000.

Though the constitution provides for freedom of expression, the government is said to restrict those rights severely, controlling all information flow. A 1991 law prohibits offending the president.

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