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Internet service providers block access to websites

(CJES/IFEX) - 15 October 2010 - Tajik Internet service providers blocked the IP addresses of the websites http://www.Avesta.tj , http://www.Tjknews.com and http://www.Centrasia.ru . As a result, the websites can only be accessed by proxy servers.

The Russian electronic publication http://www.Ferghana.ru , which is known for its criticism of the Tajik administration, was blocked on 8 October 2010.

The Tajik authorities are denying having forced independent providers to block the sites. However, the Tajik Providers' Association says it has a copy of the document requiring providers to block the aforementioned sites.

User access to the websites of other foreign media organizations was blocked in Tajikistan on 11 October.

Blocked user access was also reported at the end of last week, however user access was then blocked only to clients of the Internet provider Vavilon. Now other Tajik providers (Telecom Technology, Istera, ad Tajiktelecom) have also blocked user access.

A source at Telecom Technology told Ferghana.ru that the company received a written order from the Tajik Transport and Communications Ministry to block user access to several sites, including Ferghana.ru and Centrasia.ru.

User access to the websites Avesta.tj (a local information agency) and Tjknews.com (a political blog) has been blocked in Tajikistan for two weeks.

Experts said the authorities are violating the law because they have no right to block user access to Internet sites without a court ruling. They link the blocking of the user access to the media coverage of recent events in eastern Tajikistan. The experts also believe the sharp increase in printing prices, which has halted the publication of the independent newspaper "Faradzh", is due to the same reason.

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