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Tajik Communications Service Explains Website Blockages

DUSHANBE -- The Tajik government's Communications Service says some websites were blocked this month to prevent the "spread of false information and possible blackmail."

The service's deputy chief, Rafiqjon Shokirov, told journalists the action was taken in accordance with a Tajik law that prohibits the spread of "information damaging to the honor and dignity of any individual."

Shokirov did not elaborate on what information was deemed damaging.

Facebook, the website of RFE/RL's Tajik Service, and other sites were inaccessible in Tajikistan for several days this month.

At the time, Communications Service chief Beg Zuhurov blamed the disruptions on "technical problems."

Access to some sites via several Tajik Internet providers remains difficult.

Tajik authorities also blocked Facebook and several online news sites in March and November of 2012 but later unblocked them.

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

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