Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 is a Central Asian country which mostly practices Islam. It was independent from the Soviet Union after its breakup in 1991.

General censorship[]

Book censorship[]

  • Every work by Hamid Ismailov (who had been in exile in the USA since 1994) is banned for being critical of the government.

Film censorship[]

Internet censorship[]

Uzbekistan's "freedom on the net status" is "not free" in the 2012 and 2013 Freedom on the Net reports from Freedom House. Uzbekistan maintains the most extensive and pervasive filtering system among the CIS countries and has been listed as an Internet enemy by Reporters Without Borders since the list was created in 2006. The OpenNet Initiative found evidence that Internet filtering was pervasive in the political area and selective in the social, conflict/security, and Internet tools areas during testing that was reported in 2008 and 2010.

Uzbekistan prevents access to websites regarding banned Islamic movements, independent media, NGOs, and material critical of the government's human rights violations. Some Internet cafes in the capital have posted warnings that users will be fined for viewing pornographic websites or website containing banned political material. The main VoIP protocols SIP and IAX used to be blocked for individual users; however, as of July 2010, blocks were no longer in place. Facebook was blocked for a few days in 2010.

Internet censorship in Uzbekistan increased following the events of the Arab Spring in 2011. Additional websites are blocked, contributors to online discussion of the events in Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain have been arrested, and news about demonstrations and protest movements have been blocked. The BBC website was unblocked in late 2011, but since January 2012, specific pages dealing with the Arab Spring have been inaccessible. ISPs and mobile phone operators are required to report mass mailings of “suspicious content” and to disconnect networks upon authorities’ requests.

The principal intelligence agency in Uzbekistan, the National Security Service (SNB), monitors the Uzbek segment of the Internet and works with the main regulatory body to impose censorship. As all ISPs must rent channels from the state monopoly provider, available evidence strongly suggests that Internet traffic is recorded and monitored by means of a centralized system. SNB officers frequently visit ISPs and Internet cafés to monitor compliance.

In 2014, the entire country's internet and mobile messaging networks were stopped over a three- to four-hour window for 'urgent repairs' co-inciding almost precisely with national university entry exams.

Television censorship[]

Video game censorship[]

Authorities in Uzbekistan banned a number of games over concerns that they could be "used to propagate violence, pornography, threaten security and social and political stability", most notably first-person shooters such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Doom, horror games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat and even relatively non-violent simulations such as The Sims. The ban was condemned and ridiculed for taking precedence over more important societal issues and a waste of time and effort.

External links[]

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