Archive for May, 2010

Bangladesh blocks Facebook

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Bangladesh on Saturday temporarily blocked the social network Facebook amid demands by a radical organisation to ban the website for hurting sentiments of Muslims.

No official comment was immediately available for the closure of the popular network. However, an official source on condition of anonymity said that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) blocked it on directives from the government.

The private bdnews24 news agency said the measure was taken on a request from the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) as users suddenly were barred from logging into the network since 6.30 pm.

A RAB spokesman, however, rejected the report, saying no request was made on their behalf to block the network.

The development came two days after the leader of the radical Islamic Shashantantrik Andolon, Fazlul Haque Amini, demanded a ban on the network for reported posting of materials hurting Muslim religious sentiments.

A row erupted in Pakistan when it recently decided to cut off access to Facebook till May 31 over a page featuring blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Mohammed.

Bangladesh government-run BSS news agency earlier today reported that the RAB troops arrested a “cyber criminal” of the city on charges of “cyber crimes”.

It said detained Rodin recently posted “objectionable, disfigured and satirical photographs” of several government leaders using different accounts.


Pakistan Blocks Facebook Over Caricatures of Prophet Muhammad

Monday, May 10th, 2010


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A Pakistani court has ordered the authorities to temporarily block Facebook due to a contest that calls for caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The court order follows a petition by a group called the Islamic Lawyers’ Movement, which complained that the contest was “blasphemous.” A search on Facebook reveals two sites featuring such caricatures: one supporting Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who created the caricature of the Prophet, published in Danish newspapers in 2005.

The other group is openly calling for caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, claiming in the group descriptions that it has noble intent. From the description: “This group is for everyone, regardless of nationality, political or religious believes, who believe in and want to defend freedom of speech and the foundation of democracy wherever it is being threatened in the world!” In the photo section of the group, one can indeed find several caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Facebook is to remained blocked in Pakistan until May 31. Justice Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court ordered the department of communications to submit a written reply to the Islamic Lawyers’ Movement petition by that date. In 2008, Pakistan blocked YouTube, also because of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that found their way onto the video-sharing site.