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BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz parliament has adopted a resolution calling for a news website to be banned, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz and Uzbek services report.
The parliament deputies said on June 17 that fergana.ru "ignites ethnic hatred" among Uzbeks and Kyrgyz and therefore should be blocked. Deputies officially recommended that the Prosecutor-General's Office take measures to try to prevent access to the website in Kyrgyzstan within three months.
The decision was based on a suggestion by the parliamentary commission on the deadly ethnic clashes between local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in the southern Osh and Jalal-Abad regions last year.
Danill Kislov, the chief editor of the Russia-based website, told RFE/RL that Kyrgyzstan would not be the first Central Asian country to ban fergana.ru. He said Uzbek officials did the same in 2005 after the site's coverage of the massacre of protesters in the Uzbek city of Andijon by security forces.
Kyrgyz deputy Tursunbai Bakir Uulu, who has previously served as the country's ombudsman, told RFE/RL that the decision to block the site was correct. He said in order to prevent deadly ethnic clashes similar to those that took place last year -- when more than 400 people were killed -- it is necessary to block the site.
Bakir Uulu added that he recommended to parliament that two other websites in the country -- dizel.kz and parus.kz -- also be blocked as they "try to create tensions between ethnic groups in the country."
Bishkek-based journalist Akmat Alagushev told RFE/RL that the parliament's decision to pass the resolution was incorrect.
He said those kinds of decisions mean "the introduction of censorship in Kyrgyzstan." Alagushev added that it is not even technically possible to fully block a website from readers.
Media rights activist Tattu Mambetalieva told RFE/RL that in taking such action the parliament "has made a wonderful advertisement for fergana.ru."

Read more in Kyrgyz here
Read more in Uzbek here

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