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Uzbekistan: Russian Religious News Websites Blocked

4/10/07 Uzbekistan-Russia Forum 18 One of the more prominent Russian-language religious news websites,, is blocked in Uzbekistan , Forum 18 News Service has found.

Tests in the Uzbek capital Tashkent showed that the religious news website was inaccessible. Blocking is done at the instigation of the National Security Service (NSS) secret police. Internet service providers (ISPs) in Uzbekistan blame the blocking of sites on Uznet, owned by the state provider Uzbektelecom and through which all ISPs have to connect to the internet.

Uznet insists that sites are already blocked by the NSS. “We don’t block websites – this is done by the NSS secret police. The NSS open the connections for us – they have all the equipment there,” an Uznet employee said. Uzbekistan has long barred access to more websites than any other Central Asian country, including websites such as, and All these websites carry some coverage of religious affairs.