Tajik Parliament Legalizes Blocking Internet, Telephone Service

By RFE/RL's Tajik Service

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's parliament has legalized blocking the Internet and telephone system during "counterterrorism operations" in the Central Asian nation.

Tajik lawmakers adopted the amendments to the Law on CombatingTerrorism on November 25.

Access to a number of social-networking and other websites -- including Facebook, Twitter, RFE/RL's Tajik- and Russian-language websites and other news portals -- has been disrupted several times in recent years in Tajikistan.

Restricted access to the Internet resources was reported on days when opposition groups planned rallies or when security forces were involved in operations against alleged terrorists.

U.S. and EU officials have raised concerns both over overall blockage of the Internet and over blockage of access to individual sites.

Tajik officials have always said Internet disruptions were caused by technical problems.