9 May 2019 14:47

Access to social networks restricted in Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN. May 9 (Interfax) - The social networks and messengers Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Telegram are inaccessible in Kazakhstan on Thursday, according to the results of the technical monitoring by the international non-governmental organization NetBlocks.

Internet providers have blocked access to major social networks and a number of news websites, NetBlocks said.

"Twitter and the WhatsApp messaging service remain generally available, and Telegram includes censorship countermeasures that allow the mobile and desktop versions of the app to remain connected," it said.

Additionally, access to the websites of a number of media, rus.azattyq.org, exclusive.kz, vlast.kz, holanews.kz, has been blocked in Kazakhstan since Thursday morning. The blocking of the websites of several local media, including Ak Zhayyk and the Ural Week, was also reported.

"Kazakhstan has experienced intermittent social media blocking in recent months, as authorities have sought to restrict access to live broadcasts by exiled political activist Mukhtar Ablyazov calling for public demonstrations," NetBlocks said.

On Wednesday, the Kazakh Prosecutor General's Office released a statement calling on Kazakh citizens to refrain from attending "unauthorized rallies" and warned that participants in them would be held responsible. The statement was made following the announcement by the movement Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, banned by the court, that it intends to hold rallies in several large cities, including Nur-Sultan and Almaty, on May 9.

According to witnesses, some activists took to the streets on Thursday and several people were detained in Nur-Sultan and Astana.