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RFE/RL's Tajik Site Blocked In Tajikistan

DUSHANBE -- The website of RFE/RL's Tajik Service has been blocked on the Internet in Tajikistan. has been blocked since late on November 29.

Beg Zukhurov, the head of Tajikistan's state Communications Service, confirmed the site had been blocked in an interview on November 30 with the news portal Asia-Plus.

He said the authorities acted in response to complaints from a group of concerned citizens who expressed objections about "a series of information agencies that work against the interests of Tajikistan."

"This is censorship, clear and simple," RFE/RL President Steven Korn said.

"The government wants to shut down free expression, and so they're attacking Facebook, they're attacking us, and they'll attack other sources of independent information as well," he added.

"This is a violation of the fundamental right to free speech, and governments, the media, the private sector, the human rights community and Tajik citizens should condemn it."

Several Internet providers in Tajikistan told RFE/RL that they received SMS text messages from the Communications Service on the evening of November 29 instructing them to block access to

RFE/RL has received unconfirmed reports that official, written instructions have since been issued.

The Tajik authorities have temporarily blocked numerous websites this year, including YouTube, the BBC, Asia-Plus, and Russian media sites.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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