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Austria : OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes restored access to online media in Uzbekistan and calls to also unblock RFE/RL website.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Dsir, welcomed the restored access to multiple internet-based media in Uzbekistan, after more than ten years of intermittent blocking.

Dsir also welcomed the fact that the Agency of Information and Mass Communications, under the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Uzbekistan, has investigated the matter, and expressed their willingness to constructively communicate with the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

I welcome the unblocking of media and information websites in Uzbekistan, including Asia Terra, Uzmetronom, Fergana Agency, Eurasia.net, Centre 1, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America and BBC and their Uzbek-language services, as well as sites of human rights organizations, such as Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch, which I previously raised with the authorities. I hope that the website of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) will also be unblocked soon and I will continue my exchange with the authorities on the issue, Dsir said. I encourage Uzbekistan in furthering the reform of the media sector towards an open, free and diverse media landscape.

The Representative on Freedom of the Media has frequently raised the issue of internet blocking in the OSCE region. Dsir insists that the authorities need to ensure unrestricted access to the internet and the free flow of information at all times.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:9UZBE
Date:May 17, 2019
Words:234
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