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Kazakh Bloggers Say Blockage Of Blog Website For 'Political Reasons'

The Kazakh Wordpress blog platform has been blocked since June.
ASTANA, July 13, 2011 (RFE/RL) -- Some prominent Kazakh bloggers say the government's blockage of the Wordpress blog platform since June is politically motivated, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

In an official response to parliament deputy and active Wordpress user Murat Abenov, main Kazakh Internet provider KazTeleCom said on July 12 that it blocked domestic access to Wordpress because of two "illegal" blogs.

The letter said that in February Astana's Saryarkin regional court imposed a ban on two blogs -- and -- because they had posted "unlawful information." It did not elaborate.

KazTeleCom added that it could not block the two blog sites because they had identical IP addresses, and so it said it had to block the entire Wordpress platform and all of its blogs.

Kazakh blogger Murat Mulkubaev, who heads the public organization Pirate Party of Kazakhstan, said the authorities blocked the Wordpress blog platform because they are afraid of seeing criticism.

He said it is suspicious that the blocking of the Wordpress platform coincided with Kazakhstan's accession to a customs union with Belarus and Russia.

He said the Kazakh authorities wanted to avoid criticism from opponents of the union.

Mulkubaev said there were some 500 Kazakh-language bloggers on the Wordpress platform. But he added that now the main pages for social discussions are on Facebook and Twitter.

Dina Baydildaeva, a Kazakh blogger and member of the public association Liberty, told RFE/RL that the earlier blocking of and and the continued blocking of Wordpress violates international and national laws on information.

She said her organization, which is in the process of obtaining official registration, will demand that the Communications and Information Ministry as well as KazTeleCom respect the right of people to freely access information.

Tamara Kaleyeva, who heads the human rights organization Adil Soz, told RFE/RL that KazTeleCom went beyond the court decision at the expense of Internet users.

She said the provider did not have the right to block the entire platform because of two blogs.

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