Tajikistan blocks Facebook and independent sites

The Government of Tajikistan has ordered the blocking of Saturday, March 3, from online social networking sites Facebook and several independent media, said the president of the association of Internet service providers in this country, Parvina Ibodova.

« Service providers have received a verbal order of government services to block these sites. We are performers, get our license (the authorities) and that is why we are obedient and have, as a circuit breaker, cut off access to sites, « she said.

According to Ms. Ibodova, a dozen ISPs have blocked Facebook on Saturday morning and news sites zvezda.ru, ferghana.ru, maxala.org, and tjknews.com centrasia.ru.

« The Government Office for communications to send next week to service providers a notification letter to block these sites, » she further said. Ms. Ibodova said he did not know whether that decision was « political » authorities had referred to « a technical measure and prevention » blocked while the media regularly publish articles critical of the Tajik regime.

Contacted by AFP, the Government Office for Communications declined to comment. Tajikistan, a small Central Asian republic and the poorest of the former Soviet Union, is led by an iron hand by President Emomali Rakhmon since 1992.

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