Media strategy of the Civil Society Coalition Against Torture and Illegitimacy in Tajikistan


The Civil Society Coalition Against Torture and Illegitimacy in Tajikistan (hereinafter - the Coalition) was established in September 2011 to consolidate the efforts of civil society to struggle torture and illegitimacy in the Republic of Tajikistan. The Coalition unites 11 organizations, more than 80 people – representatives of Coalition member organizations, lawyers, journalists, psychologists, experts on justice issues and carries out its activities on the basis of the agreed Rules and Principles of Participation in the Coalition and its Strategy.

Since then, the Coalition has evolved into a coherent functioning civil society structure that is recognized at the national and international levels. The Coalition is an important platform and a safe space for all its members, within which one can get support, professional advice, improve professional skills, integrate the efforts and act as a single voice for more effective impact on decision-makers, victims and donors. Transparency of activities and professional ethics are considered very important principles in the activities of the Coalition.

The Coalition has its own website which is a comprehensive information tool on the issue of torture and inhumane treatment in Tajikistan, where it is possible to find relevant media materials, program documents, analysis and research results, interviews and other necessary information.

This Strategy was developed for the years 2016-2018. The strategy is aimed at broadly covering the issues of freedom from torture in Tajikistan in national, regional and foreign media (printing, radio and television stations, information and analytical Internet resources), organizing public debates and responding to specific facts of torture, promoting systemic changes in the field of combating torture.

The media strategy promotes public organizations and media structures dealing with torture in Tajikistan, to coordinate their efforts to highlight this topic and to define common standards for information activity. Coordination of efforts and constant exchange of information enables to react promptly to facts of torture and inhumane treatment, to avoid duplication of activities, to conduct joint advocacy campaigns for the media and public organizations, which will improve the effectiveness of efforts to combat torture and illegitimacy in Tajikistan.



Journalists and the media play an important role in shaping a policy of zero tolerance for torture. The strategy is aimed at providing high-quality information on the problems of torture of the media.

Journalists, representatives of human rights organizations and practicing lawyers, specializing in certain types of activities, do not interact enough in protecting and promoting the rights and interests of torture victims using the potential of the media. The strategy is aimed at improving the cooperation of journalists with NGOs and practicing lawyers to compose and place thematic publications in the media, to deliver information and advocacy campaigns.

Victims of torture and inhumane treatment, as well as members of their families, are often unaware of their rights and mechanisms for protecting human rights. The strategy is aimed at using the potential of the media in raising awareness about their rights, as well as targeted protection of their interests.



Tajikistan has been paying increasing attention to the situation with respect for the right to freedom from torture and other forms of inhumane treatment in recent years. The expansion of the public debate on torture is related to the intensification of civil society institutions in this direction and the gradual recognition of the existence of this problem by state authorities.

An important catalyst for the discussion processes is the increasingly active media and independent journalists. Investigations of some facts of torture are initiated after publication in the media. The activities to highlight the facts of torture, investigative actions and litigations in the mass media help to draw the attention of the general public, state authorities, national and international human rights organizations to the issues of the need for criminal punishment of guilty officials, the protection of victims of torture and the provision of adequate compensations.

At the same time, there are a number of problems that hamper the qualitative and professional coverage of torture in the media and the use of available media opportunities:

- Limited access of journalists and media editorial staff to objective information on violations, investigative actions, judicial processes, monitoring and researches delivered in this field, as well as the lack of information exchange between key stakeholders.

- Inadequate interaction of mass media, public organizations and lawyers in the preparation of publications on the topic of torture, including a low level of involvement of journalists in activities held by human rights defenders (monitoring, strategic litigations, advocacy campaigns, etc.), lack of systematic information activity.

- Insufficient understanding of the working procedures of journalists and mass media by public organizations, which cause differences in approaches and problems of interaction.

- A high level of "self-censure" among journalists and editorial offices in Tajikistan when covering "complex" topics (in particular torture) that have public significance.

- Constant blocking of Internet sites and social networks, limiting the possibilities of disseminating information on the problems of torture.



The actual recognition of the existence of torture problem in the country by the Tajik authorities has increased the number of publications in printing and electronic media on this topic. The media structures have additional opportunities to attract public attention to the problem, including through the use of Internet resources (information and analysis websites, social networks and blogs).

Often people who suffered from the actions of law enforcement officers and other state agencies, as well as their lawyers and relatives, turn to the media and independent journalists as the "last" instance to protect their rights and freedoms. Due to constant monitoring of publications and establishing links with journalists and media editorial staff the human rights organizations can receive up-to-date information on specific cases of torture, and use human, information and technical resources of media organizations in the activities to counteract torture in Tajikistan.

Since 2012 the Coalition has intensified its interaction with the media through establishing cooperation with journalists and the media, informing about its activities through its information website and social networks. In 2011-2015, more than 800 materials had been published – news, analyses, press reviews, interviews, video and audio materials in Russian and Tajik.

Delivering systematic information activities, the Coalition can achieve massive support among the population, increasing people’s legal awareness and forming the policy of "zero tolerance" towards the torture and illegitimacy in the country.



The main goal of the media strategy is to form sustainable policy of "zero tolerance" towards torture in Tajikistan among the authorities and the general public.

The objectives of the Strategy are:

  • Systematic coverage of the activities carried out by the Coalition and its efforts in preventing and effectively combating torture and illegitimacy;
  • Drawing attention to the problem of torture;
  • Development and dissemination of qualitative information on the problem of torture.

Expected results:

  • Effective tools for systematic coverage of the Coalition's activities would have been developed and fostered;
  • Effective cooperation with the media and journalists would have been established for covering of the problem of torture;
  • The number of materials on the problem of torture in the media and social networks would have been increased.



The Coalition uses several channels of information dissemination:

• distribution of statements, reviews in the editorial offices of the media and individual journalists;

• printing of press releases accompanying the release of reviews or individual events;

• holding of press conferences (for individual events or on a regular basis);

• organizing interviews with members of the Coalition for the media with an overview of the situation relating the torture;

• inviting media to conferences and forums organized by the Coalition;

• organizing information support of specific matters – submission of documents, communication with relatives;

• consulting journalists in the field of countering torture – exchange of information;

• publication of information on the Coalition's website, its wide advertising among journalists as a reliable source of information for the media

• expert and analytical materials;

• development and dissemination of the mobile application of the website;

• active use of specially created pages and Coalition groups in social networks (Twitter and Facebook);



To implement the Strategy a Coalition Media Group has been established and is currently operating, which is composed of representatives of member organizations and Coalition partners. The Media Group carries out activities on the basis of this Strategy and the annually approved work plans of the group.

The secretariat of the media group is composed of the coordinator of the media group, public relations officer, site administrator and site editors.