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Kyrgyzstan: News Site Unblocked, Yet Still Illegal

This photo montage depicts the web site fergananews.com and an image from the 2010 ethnic violence in Osh. (Photo: David Trilling; Screen shot of fergananews.com)

An authoritative Central Asia-focused news website has defeated attempts to silence it in Kyrgyzstan: authorities have unblocked it. Yet under the prevailing interpretation of a parliamentary resolution, the website, Fergana News, still appears to be banned in the Central Asian nation.

The nationalist-leaning parliament voted unanimously to block Fergana News (Fergananews.com, formerly Ferghana.ru) back in June 2011 after some MPs expressed dissatisfaction with the website’s critical coverage of the interethnic violence in southern Kyrgyzstan the previous summer. Though lawyers for several respected civil society organizations argued that only a court could order a website blocked, the State Communications Agency bowed to parliamentary pressure and ordered Internet service providers to block access to the site in February 2012.

In November 2012, Fergana News began legal proceedings in a Bishkek court to get the ban lifted.

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Kyrgyzstan: News Site Unblocked, Yet Still Illegal

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