Facebook, news websites blocked in Tajikistan

Mar 6, 2012
One Comment

Several websites, including Facebook and Zvezda.ru, have been blocked in Tajikistan. News website Zvezda had recently published articles critical of the Tajik government, including a critique of President Imomali Rakhmon titled ‘Tajikistan on the Eve of a Revolution’. Other blocked websites include Tjknews.com and Maxala.org, both of which reposted the article from Zvezda.

The Head of the Tajik Communications Service, Beg Zuhurov, responded by claiming that these issues are related to technical problems, and that the government has not blocked any websites. However, Asia-Plus said it received a copy of the official letter from the Government, requesting that internet service providers block “Facebook.com, zvezda.rutjknews.commaxala.org and centrasia.ru ’in connection with prophylactic technical work’”. There have also been multiple reports of Internet service providers receiving verbal and written requests to block access to several websites according to Asia-Plus and AFP. An ISP, who requested anonymity, refused to censor their traffic and claims to have been cut off from their access to Tajiktelekom, the state-run network operator. Their technical problems appear to have been fixed after blocking access to the requested web pages, according to Asia-Plus.

Freedom House reports that criticism of Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon is a criminal offense with a potential prison term of up to five years. In the past, the government has limited freedom of the press and restricted access to websites critical of Tajikistan.


About the Author

Ryan Isakow

Ryan Isakow is a TOL editorial intern.
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