Blog blackout in Bangladesh

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On 4 April 2013 (0700 GMT) all Bengali blogs were gone offline for 92 hours because of the unconditional release of four bloggers who were arrested to write freely about their opinion. A fundamentalist group named Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh has started a countrywide campaign to hang freethinking bloggers. In response, the government has started monitoring Bengali blog sites and sending letters to their authorities to provide information about the "anti-religious" blogs and bloggers. Individual bloggers protest with this blackout by changing their profile photos on Facebook and by twitting with the #MuzzleMeNot hash tag. Different international organizations have expressed deep concern about taking freethinking bloggers into custody. After a 92 hours long blackout, blogs returned online by publishing a press release on their central Facebook page.

The 2013 Shahbag protests, began on 5 February 2013 at Dhaka,Bangladesh and later spread to other parts of Bangladesh, as people demanded capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and for others convicted of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal. From the beginning of the shahbag protest, bloggers came out on the streets to demand capital punishment of that war criminal.

During the protests, Ahmed Rajib Haider, a blogger who was critical of Jamaat-e-Islami, was killed by a few Jamaat activists. Afterwards, a Jamaat backed Islamic fundamentalist organisation started a violent protest demanding the death penalty for all "anti-Islamic" bloggers, and they termed all participants of the shahbag movement as atheist. The spokesperson of the shahbag movement Imran H. Sharkar said, Hifazat-e-Islam is desperate to oppose the war crimes trial and the process of  Jamaat-e-Islami.

Afterwards, the government of Bangladesh started monitoring the blogs and sent letters to the Bengali blog authorities to terminate the "anti-religious" blogs and to provide information about the "anti-religious" bloggers. On the night of 1 April 2013, three bloggers were arrested by the detective branch (DB) police. Blogger Rasel Pervez, a prominent physicist and blogger and Mashiur Rahman Biplob were arrested on 1 April 2013 from their house. Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, who is a masters student of the Bengali department at the University of Dhaka, was also arrested on the same day from his university dormitory.Another blogger Asif Mohiuddin was called to the police station on 3 April 2013, and when he went there, he was arrested. Earlier, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission forced the Bengali blog somewhereinblog.net to remove all writings of Asif Mohiuddin. The move was criticized by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Center for Inquiry, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, and several other bodies.

Blogs is the sector where any citizen can write about his/her opinion freely. Government,other related parties or any fundamentalist group should not interrupt in their free thinking. This occurence is really ashamed one for our country.

 

Reference: Wikipedia

Moumita
著者: Moumita
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