It is six days today that Internet is inaccessible in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO).  The authorities have promised to restore access to Internet in the region but have not restored it yet.  

Protests in different parts of Tajikistan usually lead to internet restrictions. Recent incident in Khorog, the capital of the GBAO, has left citizens unable to access online content.

Recall, a four-day protest rally ended in Khorog on November 28 after an agreement was reached between the authorities and the protesters.  The authorities reportedly committed to an independent investigation into the death of Gulbiddin Ziyobekov at the hands of law enforcement officers.  An agreement was also reached to refrain from seeking prosecutions for the protesters.

Besides, the authorities have promised to restore access to Internet, but they haven't kept their promise yet

A source in Khorog told Asia-Plus Tuesday afternoon that the authorities on November 29 promised to restore access to Internet by 1:00 pm of November 30.  “However, we have not access to Internet yet,” the source said.

According to him, residents of Khorog fear that if the authorities don’t keep their promise to restore access to Internet, they will not comply with other points of the negotiations as well.     

Officials from the communications service agency have refrained from commenting on the situation.  The first deputy head of the Communications Service under the Government of Tajikistan, Ilhomjon Atoyev has declined to comment on this topic by phone,     

Recall, the incident took place on the morning of November 25.  The GBAO prosecutor’s office confirmed that in the village of Tavdem in GBAO’s Roshtqala district, an operation was carried out by law enforcement agencies to capture Gulbiddin Ziyobekov, who was wanted on charges of taking hostages and inciting ethnic hatred.  “During the operation, he put up armed resistance and began firing from a Makarov pistol, which he possessed illegally.  The offender was wounded by return fire,” says a statement released by the GBAO prosecutor’s office.

Some eyewitnesses of the events claim that Gulbiddin Ziyobekov was shot in the head and died on the way from Roshtqala to Khorog.

According to one of the residents of the Roshtqala district, Ziyobekov and other young guys beat the prosecutor’s office officer Abirzoda for offering an intimate relationship to a local young woman, forcing him to issue an apology to camera.

The investigation was halted at the instigation of then-GBAO governor Yodgor Fayzov, who mediated a way out of the impasse.  Fayzov was removed from the post earlier this month.  His dismissal appears to have triggered a renewed effort to arrest Ziyobekov,

Several thousand people occupied a central square in Khorog on November 25 in a demand for justice.  The four-day rally ended in the afternoon of November 28 afternoon after several hours of negotiations between the government officials and representatives of the protesters.