Human Rights Watch Calls on Turkmenistan to end ‘War on Satellite Dishes’ – Satellite Today

Ashgabat Turkmenistan Satellite

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Photo: Peretz Partensky

[Via Satellite 04-29-2015] Human Rights Watch is calling on Turkmenistan to cease from forcing residents to remove privately owned satellite dishes. The independent Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) reports that around the end of March 2015, local housing authorities in the capital city of Ashgabat and its suburbs began ordering residents of multistory apartment buildings to remove the dishes because they ruined the view of the city.

According to Human Rights Watch, this is the third time in four years that the government of Turkmenistan has attempted to coerce its population to abandon satellite television. The government controls virtually all print and electronic media, and blocks foreign news sites. State-owned cable and satellite packages are mostly entertainment and lack news channels that would be critical of the government, according to the NGO.

“Satellite television is the last lifeline to the outside world for people in Turkmenistan,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should stop its strong-arm tactics to restrict freedom of expression and let people choose their own news and entertainment sources.”

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