Bangladesh Blocks Over 30 News Websites

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Dhaka: In a crackdown on media, Bangladesh government has blocked over 30 online portals and news websites, including some pro-opposition media. The head of the national telecoms regulator Bangladesh Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said the websites were shut down late last night on government orders. BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, however, did not assign any reason for the action, the bdnews reported.

The list of blocked news portals included and amardeshonline, a news portal linked to a pro-opposition Bengali daily that the government shut down in 2013.

The government had cancelled Amar Desh daily’s licence accusing it of provoking religious hatred. It has been operating as an internet newspaper since then. Sheersha News Editor Ekramul Haque told that their website could not be seen.

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“I’ve heard that BTRC has blocked our website. But we have not been explained why the website has been blocked,” he was quoted as saying by bdnews. The crackdown comes after the government banned live television coverage of terror attacks following the last month’s deadly assault on a cafe here in which 22 people were killed.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had publicly criticised Bangladeshi TV channels over live telecast of the government’s preparations during the country’s worst hostage crisis.