Saturday, May 29, 2010

Facebook blocked in Bangladesh

by Blitz Desk
May 30, 2010

Weekly Blitz
Facebook blocked in Bangladesh
At the demand of radical Islamists, the ruling government in Bangladesh has blocked extremely popular social networking site Facebook for indefinite period for publishing cartoon of the prophet of Islam.
Millions of potential users of Facebook in Bangladesh experienced this blocking from Saturday early morning. Approximately 1 million people use internet facilities in Bangladesh.
Officials of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission [BTRC] confirmed government's decision in blocking the Facebook site.
The source further claimed that, the site was blocked by the Bangladesh government for publishing a satiric cartoon of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and leader of the opposition Begum Khaleda Zia. A team of Rapid Action Battalion [RAB] arrested a youth named Robin for uploading this cartoon in Facebook.
Last year, Bangladesh government blocked popular site YouTube for publishing a conversation tape of the Prime Minister and several officers of Bangladesh Army right after the massacre inside Bangladesh Riffles Headquarters on February 25 [2009].
Earlier on Friday, a number of radical Islamist groups staged several demonstrations in front of the National Mosque in Dhaka [Bangladesh] demanding immediate blocking of this site. It is understood that, Bangladesh government has taken this decision of blocking Facebook to appease the Islamists.
For past several years, Islamist groups are becoming active in Bangladesh, as they hold significant number of seats in the Parliament, thus mostly becoming coalition partners of the governments. A number of Islamist parties have welcomed government's decision of blocking Facebook.
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PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005; AJC Moral Courage Award 2006
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