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Tajikistan Criticized For Blocking Access To News Websites

Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Border (RSF) has criticized Tajikistan for blocking access to news websites.

RSF said in a statement on August 2 that access to the country's leading independent news agency Asia-Plus was blocked on August 1 -- for the third time in two months.

The websites were blocked after fighting in the restive Gorno-Badakhshan region in the country's east.

The government has cited technical reasons for the lack of access to Asia-Plus.

The Russian news agency RIA-Novosti website has also been blocked, joining YouTube, and two other Russian news sites and

Two other news portals specializing in Central Asia -- and -- as well as the local forum, were also blocked.

RSF said Tajikistan, by increasingly making systematic use of cyber-censorship, could end up on RSF's annual list of the "Enemies of the Internet," which could tarnish the country's image.

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