Access to ‘unreliable websites’ hampered in Azerbaijan
The majority of Azerbaijani Internet-providers have blocked access to 3 specific websites, who regularly publishes critical materials with regard to the country’s leadership. The following websites have been blocked: The opposition ‘Azadliq’ newspaper’s website (azadliq.info), ‘Meydan TV’ online TV channel (meydan.tv) and Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani service (azadliq.org).
The providers started blocking the aforesaid websites in the afternoon on 27 March. The websites were unblocked close to midnight ,only to be blocked again early in the morning.
An Azerbaijani Transport and Communications Ministry spokesperson refused to comment in detail on the problem. “We don’t have any information concerning blocking certain websites. First there were reports that access to certain websites was blocked and it was impossible to visit certain websites. However, half an hour later, there came reports that the problem was solved. The reports regarding website blocking are unsubstantiated,” Radio Liberty cited the Ministry spokesperson as saying.
Alesker Mammadli, a media expert, ruled out website access problems causing individual providers’ technical problems. “In that case, other websites wouldn’t have opened either.” Mammadli also doubts that those websites could possibly have been subjected to DDOS attack, since they’ve had unhampered access to all 3 websites outside Azerbaijan.
This is not the first case of blocking ‘unreliable’ websites in Azerbaijan. Similar problems were seen at the end of last year.
contact.az media outlet has put forward its own idea of what the possible reason for blocking the websites might be: “Those websites have been recently criticizing the appointment of Mehriban Aliyeva as the country’s First Vice President,” contact.az publication reads.
However, some Azerbaijani Internet-providers haven’t blocked the websites yet. So, there is no precise answer as to what exactly the causes of the problem are.