Repeated blocking of websites in Tajikistan a worrying trend, says OSCE media freedom representative
VIENNA, 7 October 2014 – Following the blocking of a large number of websites and social media platforms in Tajikistan including Vkontakte, YouTube and Facebook, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on the authorities to ensure unrestricted access to the Internet.
“The repeated blocking of websites in Tajikistan over the past few months is a worrying and disturbing trend. These kinds of reprehensive actions are detrimental to the basic human right to receive and impart information, and to media freedom,” Mijatović said.
On 3 October Internet providers in Tajikistan reportedly started to block access to a large number of websites and social media platforms. Severe limitations of mobile Internet services in northern Tajikistan were also reported by the media. The authorities in Tajikistan have officially denied any involvement.
“The authorities have a responsibility to ensure that all citizens in Tajikistan have unhindered access to information, offline and online. Any imposed restriction must be defined by law, be proportionate and based on a court decision,” Mijatović said.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.