Uzbekistan reinstates access to critical news sites

AFP

TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan unblocked a dozen news and rights websites known for critical coverage of the government, an official said Saturday, AFP reported Saturday (May 11).

A cautious increase in openness has been part of the country's reforms since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took office in 2016, in part to drain away the appeal of extremism.

Uzbekistan took measures to eliminate "certain technical issues" to provide local users access to the websites, some of which had been blocked for over a decade, tweeted Komil Allamjonov, director of the country's Information and Mass Communications Agency.

The BBC's Uzbek service, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders' websites were among those listed in the tweet. Radio Free Europe's Uzbek-language service remains unavailable in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan lifted the blocks after Allamjonov's agency "carefully studied the facts of inhibited access to some news web resources" raised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, tweeted Allamjonov.

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