Uzbekistan: Internet Cafes, Gaming Halls Closed En Masse
Security services in Uzbekistan have for the last few days been ordering the closure of internet and computer gaming cafes across the country in what appears to be an attempt to clamp down on suspected extremist religious activity.
One such internet cafe visited by EurasiaNet.org on Navoi street, a main thoroughfare in the capital, Tashkent, was found under lock and key. An employee at the establishment said that officers with the National Security Service, or SNB, arrived on April 19, disconnected the internet connection and ordered immediate closure of the building.
The same scene has been playing out across Tashkent and beyond.
The manager of one internet cafe, Rasul, said that SNB officers at his place spent a long time inspecting his servers and printers.
“My colleagues have said that in some internet points there were some people printing out leaflets belonging to the the banned religious group [Hizb ut-Tahrir] and that this was happening after the terrorist attack in Sweden, which was done by a citizen of Uzbekistan,” said Rasul, who declined to give his surname.
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