Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

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ilig
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Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

Postby ilig » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:32 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm planning a trip (late August or September) from Iran via Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan. I'm a German citizen based in Berlin, so I would try to get my visas at the local embassies here before I leave.

I'm a journalist, but this journey has no connection to my work and I'm not planning to write anything about it. It's only for touristic purposes. Still: Do you know whether they might reject me if I fill in the form stating that I'm a journalist? And: Are they checking if the occupation that I declare on the form is actually true?

Any experiences?

Thank you :)
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Re: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

Postby steven » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:04 am

Yes, that is a huge issue. If you say you are a journalist, there is a 100% chance you will not get into Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan I can check, Iran I don't know enough about.

Do they check? I think Iran does google people, Turkmenistan definitely does, Uzbekistan I am not sure. I will ask a friend of mine what she wrote for UZ, she is a German journalist and was in Uzbekistan recently (got arrested and deported though, but that was because she was actually trying to do journalism).
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Re: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

Postby steven » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:50 am

Got an answer (for Uzbekistan):

Better to lie. If he is well known in Germany and has a "big" name, they nevertheless could reject. But, yes, just try it.
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Re: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

Postby ilig » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:52 am

Thanks for your quick answer, Steven! :)

I don't have a "big" name, but a pretty odd one, so they'll definitely find all about me on google… So lying might not be the smartest option for me.

As I'm mostly reporting on music and pop culture, I could state that I'm a "music critic", which might seem less suspicious to them. (And would be the truth.) Also: I'm officially still visiting a journalist school, so "student" might be another option.

I also contacted the German embassies in Taschkent and Ashgabat yesterday. Ashgabat just told me they had no valid information, but the people from Taschkent said that I could write an additional letter to the UZ ambassador, addressing this issue head-on, so they will not be surprised if they google my name. I guess this could increase my chances, but it could also have the opposite effect, right?

Also: Do you know, what your friend exactly stated on the form for Uzbekistan? There are only a handful of options, so maybe she still knows which one she picked. (I've attached a screenshot)

Thank you!
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Re: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

Postby CallumT » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:50 am

My partner is also facing this problem when we travel later this year. She is from Spain but nearly everything she has done with her career has been in Australia, and a lot of it can be found with a simple google search. I wonder if the fact that she is travelling on a Spanish passport though might help the situation.
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Re: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran: Problems for Journalists?

Postby steven » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:43 am

Ilig, I would write student. Also, since you don't address topics like corruption or human rights, it is ok. My friend writes marketing.

I am not a journalist, but I also write marketing.

The list is very bad, I think perhaps representatives of business...?

@Callum: you have to try anyway.
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