Tajikistan allows access to Facebook after public rebuke
Authorities in Tajikistan on Sunday allowed access to Facebookfollowing an outcry from international organisations over the recent blocking of independent media sites.
“Yes, we’ve allowed access to Facebook but we don’t know how long it will last,” said a spokesman for an Internet provider in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
“If we again receive a signal to shut it down we will have to comply.”
The Tajik authorities had a week ago ordered Internet providers to block access to Facebook and several other independent sites, including the Russian news site www.zvezda.ru.
The move has caused an outcry from international organisations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Reporters Without Borders.
The blocked sites regularly publish articles critical of President Emomali Rakhmon’s regime. Nearly 30,000 people use Facebook in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia that borders Afghanistan.
The poorest of the former Soviet nations, it has been ruled with an iron fist by Rakhmon since 1992.
The country will elect a president next year, and many fear the authorities may crack down on the independent media during the presidential campaign.