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Kazakhstan blocks opposition websites

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Kazakhstan yesterday blocked access to several websites critical of the government, including the "main opposition outlets", kub.kz and geo.kz, Reuters reports.

Kub - which said it said it had been "officially notified by the Kazakhstan Network Information Centre of its closure" - quickly posted a statement on another site which "linked the closure to its publication of sensitive telephone transcripts last week involving people it said were senior government officials".

Abai Sakenov, administrator of geo.kz, reported: "I was notified yesterday of the suspension of the domain. I only found out about it last night."

Reaction to the blackout has been predictable. One blogger thundered: "Are they completely mad? You can't stamp out freedom!"

Maybe not, but back in 2005, Kazakhstan pulled the plug on borat.kz, home of Sacha Baron Cohen's "boorish, sexist and racist Kazakh television reporter", and threatened legal action against the Brit comedian. Borat enthused: "I have no connection to Mr Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew." ®

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