United States Agency for Global Media

RFE/RL deplores website blockage in Tajikistan

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has condemned a government-imposed block on its website in Tajikistan as a flagrant obstruction of its news operations and an assault on media freedom.

The block has caused its Tajik language service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, to lose between 30,000 and 35,000 visits to its website every day since it was first detected on November 29.

The block is implemented via a Unified Electronic Communications Switching Center (USC) that the government authorized by

The embassies of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, and the EU Delegation in Dushanbe issued a joint statement on December 10 in response to the blackout, expressing their concern over “the periodic blockage of news sites, including Asia-Plus and Radio Ozodi,” and social networks in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan has blocked RFE/RL’s and other websites and social networks previously, without official explanation, in apparent response to content authorities find disagreeable.

But Abbas Djavadi, RFE/RL Regional Director for Central Asia, said “the current blockage is more comprehensive than before, and its impact on our audiences’ access to independent news coverage is greater,” adding “so far we have no evidence that Tajik authorities are responding to the international criticism this has produced.”

About RFE/RL

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, Internet, television, and mobile — reach influential audiences in 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the BBG.

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