Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Banned in Uzbekistan

"...authoritarian systems reinforce, while discouraging attempts to puncture whatever quixotic illusions may exist at the top."
-John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know

Independent news websites and blogs from Uzbekistan have joined a campaign against internet censorship, according to RFE/RL. The idependent newsite Fergana.ru, reports that government authorities have systemically cracked down on internet sites since the 2005 Andijon massacre. Not suprisingly, the Paris based agency Reporters without Borders rates Uzbekistan tenth from the bottom in it's freedom of the press rankings along with Turkmenistan, Cuba, North Korea, China and Iran. In their annual Nations in Transit 2008 study, Freedom House gave Uzbekistan a seven out of ten score for independent media, which gives Uzbekistan a tie with Turkmenistan for the worst score in the former Soviet Union.

A statement from the uznews.com states "A technical ban on surfing independent websites became widespread in Uzbekistan after the Andijan massacre in May 2005. Since then, experts estimate, Uzbek Internet users have been deprived of access to hundreds of websites."

So, what is so dangerous about these websites that they've been banned by the Uzbekistan government? Check them out and see for yourself.

Fergana.ru
Uzbekistan's Civil Society
Uznews.net

2 comments:

Opulent said...

Well, corrupt regimes have a tendency to see plots in the unlikliest of places. How else are they able to justify their excess?

James said...

Opulent, welcome to the site. I agree entirely. I think that what you have in Central Asia is group of leaders that have little to no legitimacy among their own people, that's why their regimes are particularly oppressive toward opposition groups. Central Asian dictators represent a Soviet/Russian imperial past that doesn't' hold well with the average Central Asian.