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7-10-2014, 11:15

Tajikistan Blocks Access to Facebook

Avesta.Tj | 07.10.2014 |Tajikistan has blocked once again access to popular social networking website Facebook since Oct.5.


All internet providers in Tajikistan blocked on Sunday access to 200 websites, including Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon.com, as well as popular Russian social networks mail.ru, lenta.ru, vkontakte and others.


So users started experiencing problems with entering Facebook on Saturday.


People in Tajikistan can’t use proxy services to avoid the restriction, as all proxies are blocked, too.


Local experts believe that the website have been blocked after a public call to join a demonstration against the Tajik government on Oct.10.


The call has been issued by exiled opposition leader Umarali Quvatov’s organization, Group 24. Kuvatov first made headlines in the summer of 2012 when he fled Tajikistan for Moscow. There he formed an organization called Group 24, which he claims is a new political movement opposed to Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon. The former businessman and now self-styled politician Kuvatov now lives outside Tajikistan, presumably in the United Arab Emirates.


According to some sources, imams of some Dushanbe mosques, in their prayers on Sunday morning, spoke not only about peace and accord in Tajikistan but also about the opposition Group 24, which reportedly planned to organize a rally in the central square in Dushanbe. The imams called on the people not to follow the Group’s calls and take every effort to keep peace in Tajikistan.


Meanwhile, the state communications service said that it has not given any orders to block any sites.


The reports about alleged blocking of websites, including Facebook, do not correspond to reality, according to communications service.


Access to Facebook had been restricted twice in June and July this year in Tajikistan.


Also, the Tajik government blocked the access to the popular video-sharing website YouTube and the popular social network Odnoklassniki in July.


During the past two years, the Tajik authorities have repeatedly blocked various websites, blaming the disruptions on "technical problems”. But later they unblocked them.