UPDATE, Dec 2 - Freedom of Expression - Recent major event as to service limitations in Tajikistan, 9 October 2014

(Updated with new information situation as of October 17 in the third paragraph and as of December 2 in the fourth paragraph.)

TeliaSonera in December 2013 adopted a Group Policy on Freedom of Expression in Telecommunications, available here. According to our Policy we will, whenever possible, report on our efforts in relation to requests or demands with potentially serious impacts on freedom of expression in telecommunications.

Government's requests or demands often serve legitimate purposes such as the protection of certain human rights, but they may also be problematic in that they could conflict with other human rights. TeliaSonera's commitment is to respect freedom of expression in telecommunications.

In Tajikistan, since this week-end, a long list of web-sites are inaccessible, affecting information availability. As of October 10 SMS-traffic in parts of the country is also affected. The status as of October 17th is that the SMS-traffic is up as usual. However, while some websites have been made available, some new sites have been added to the list of those unavailable.

It has been over six weeks since TeliaSonera up-dated this news-item. Here now additional information;

* The blocking of sites is still on- going;
* Tcell, the local TeliaSonera company, 28/08/2014 published the TeliaSonera Group Freedom of Expression Policy, http://www.tcell.tj/en/index/index/pageId/2401/ ;
* Tcell, through customer care, informs that ‘the blockings are due to circumstances not depending on Tcell’;
* We can note some progress, as among the sites that have been unblocked so far are; youtube.com, news.tj, asiaplus.tj, odnoklassniki.ru, pressa.tj, and tojnews.tj.
* The blocking is based on local law about telecommunications, http://www.tajik-gateway.org/index.phtml?lang=en&id=1414,
paragraphs 9, 10 and 34. (Official site, for download, http://mmk.tj/ru/library/4.ob_elektricheskoi_svyazi.doc.)

The Policy of TeliaSonera is not to engage in the politics of the countries in which we operate. We do not comment on politics or make political statements when representing our company. However, TeliaSonera does engage in dialogue regarding requests from authorities that affect our business and customers of companies in which we have ownership interests.

TeliaSonera, as one of the ten principles in our Group Policy, has publicly committed to comply with requests or demands relating to the surveillance of communications only to the extent required by law, including formal requirements. TeliaSonera will continue to promote this view, also when in dialogue with Governments and authorities as to major service limitations.