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Bishkek (AKIpress) - OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović called on Tajikstan’s authorities to ensure its citizens’ unrestricted access to the Internet, this time following the blocking of access to Odnoklassniki, one of the most popular social platforms in the country with more than 300,000 users.
“As an OSCE participating State, Tajikstan’s authorities should refrain from these practices of undue and arbitrary restrictions that deprive citizens from their right to seek, receive and impart information,” Mijatović said.
On 18 July, several Internet providers in Tajikistan started blocking access to Odnoklassniki. Communications officials claimed they were unaware about the blocking of the website.
“It is worrying to see these continuing restrictions of online information and blocking of websites,” Mijatović went on. “These kinds of measures could have a chilling effect on Internet freedom and may lead to censorship by service providers.”
Mijatović also recalled that video-sharing website YouTube has been blocked in the country since the beginning of June.
She reiterated her Office’s readiness to assist the authorities in Tajikistan on self-regulation mechanisms and the protection of media freedom in the digital age.