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Tajikistan Blocks Facebook

Tajik authorities have blocked access to Facebook, news reports said Monday.

According to Parvina Ibodova, spokeswoman for the Internet Providers Association, the crackdown began Sunday night, when several Tajik Internet providers and cell-phone companies received SMS messages from communications officials ordering that access to the world's largest social network be restricted.

So far, three Internet providers and three cell-phone operators have blocked Facebook, Ibodova said, adding that communications ministry have not officially commented on the restrictions.

The move to block Facebook comes after websites including Zvezda.ru, Tjknews.com and Centrasia.ru were blocked in May following the publication of an article critical of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon.

Facebook was temporarily blocked on that occasion too, but the restrictions were lifted a week before Rakhmon was scheduled to meet with international journalists.

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