An outspoken regime critic and leader of a minority ethnic community has gone missing in Tajikistan. The country’s internet users have largely missed his disappearance. The reactions from those who have paid attention to this case show that xenophobic attitudes run deep within Tajik society.
Category Archives: Social media
Since independence, the post-Soviet nations of Central Asia have invented a number of new ‘national’ holidays.
Yet the celebration of the New Year’s Eve, the Soviet people’s most favorite holiday, still remains a cherished tradition among many people in the region. Read on Global Voices Online >>
On November 26, Internet providers in Tajikistan cut local access to Facebook, the social-networking website, citing an order from the state-run communications agency. The organization initially suggested that the ban was imposed due to “technical problems.” On November 28, however, the agency’s head announced that he had ordered to restrict access to Facebook in response to “public pressure.”
Beg Zukhurov told journalists that the website was “full of filth and slander,” claiming that “hundreds” or “respected individuals” were calling him “daily” with complaints about Facebook and requests to ban the website. He also alleged that some users in Tajikistan were paid lavishly for posting critical comments on Facebook, without clarifying who might be providing funding for such an effort. Over the next several days, Zukhurov modified his explanation, asserting that a group of anonymous “volunteers” had requested to ban the “slanderous” website in Tajikistan. Apparently, the official was referring to a volunteer-run Internet watchdog which, as he had announced in July, the authorities were planning to set up in order to “track down and identify” individuals posting comments that might be deemed insulting to the country’s leadership.
On November 29, Internet providers also blocked access to the website of Radio Ozodi (Ozodi.org), the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Tajik service. Over the last several years, the website has been one of the most popular Tajik-language sources of independent news and analysis in the country. The authorities did not offer any explanation for the restriction. However, journalists and experts were nearly unanimous in proposing that the resource was taken down in retribution for its posting of unedited interviews with Zukhurov on the Facebook ban. These interviews demonstrated the official’s incompetence and poor understanding of Facebook, leading the country’s Internet users and bloggers to ridicule him. Continue reading →
Tajikistan’s flag shows three horizontal stripes of red (top), a wider stripe of white (middle), and green (bottom). A gold crown surmounted by seven gold stars is located in the center of the white stripe.
The country has had the flag since November 1992. Now some bloggers suggest that that it might be time to change the country’s flag. Read on Global Voices Online >>
Since independence, Tajikistan’s authorities have taken down almost all Soviet-erected statues of Vladimir Lenin across the country.
The removal of these monuments is quite controversial in Tajikistan, where some bloggers call Lenin a ‘better Hitler’ while others consider him a ‘real hero’. Read on Global Voices Online >>