Asia Tribune blames government for web site closure
WASHINGTON- The Government of Pakistan has blocked the South Asia Tribune Web Site (http://www.satribune.com) for Internet users in Pakistan with immediate effects, its editor, Shaheen Sehbai, claimed in a statement issued here on May 30, 2003.
The Block on SA Tribune Web Site has been placed by PTCL’s Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE).
Only those few ISPs who are not served by PTCL’s PIE can still provide access to the SA Tribune site but they have also been told by the highest officials to block it immediately, Shaheen said.
Thus almost all the ISPs in the country have been affected, thereby effectively cutting out access to SA Tribune throughout Pakistan.
Most users are getting the following message when they click on the site: “Gateway Time out, The following error occurred: gateway timeout occurred. The server is unreachable. Retry the request. (GATEWAY TIMEOUT)”.
“This is a blatant attack on the freedom of the Press as recently the South Asia Tribune had done a number of stories which exposed the Government policies,” Shaheen Sehbai, said, condemning the Government move.
Sehbai said last year besides harassing his family members, the Government in November published an advertisement in all Pakistani newspapers asking people not to visit the South Asia Tribune web site.
Arrangements are being made to provide alternate access to the web site until the ban is removed.
Any offers to “Mirror” the site would be welcome until other arrangements are made, the Editor of SA Tribune said, seeking co-operation of viewers and readers.
SA Tribune Web site was launched in July, 2002 and in 10 months it has registered more than 11 million hits.
The newspaper has produced numerous exclusive stories and scoops, which had an immense impact on the South Asia scene.
The latest major story was about the Centcom Data on Pakistan’s support to the US in the Afghan war.
Within hours of the publication of the story on the SA Tribune Web site, Centcom pulled out the entire data from its web site.
Source: Business Recorder