Tajikistan restores access to blocked news website

Jun 15, 2012

The authorities have removed a restriction on Internet access to Tajikistan’s main independent news agency Asia-Plus on Thursday, according to its website.

The ban was imposed on Tuesday, reportedly for “technical reason,” and was terminated on Thursday afternoon, says Eurasianet.org. The website was still available outside of Tajikistan because its hosting is located outside the country, according to Asia-Plus.

Asia-Plus, however, claimed the authorities blocked the access because of readers’ controversial comments, which contained “defamation and insult against the country’s high ranking state officials”, as the Head of the Tajik Communication Service, Beg Zuhurov, told them.

Asia-Plus is seen as a critical voice against the authoritarian regime of President Emomali Rakhmon, according to Universalnewswire.com. Rakhmon, who has been ruling the country for the past ten years, has received criticisms for his attempts to suppress free press, says The Telegraph.

Earlier this year, Tajikistan’s authorities blocked Facebook and several other websites, including some in Russian, citing “prophylactic technical work.”

(Screenshot of Asia-Plus homepage in Tajik)

About the Author

Sofia Lotto Persio

Sofia Lotto Persio is a TOL editorial intern for Summer 2012. She studies in the Netherlands at the Leiden University College, but she is originally from Turin, Italy. She is editor in chief of the college's student publication PAX, and writes occasionally for Dutch expats websites.
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