Accessibility links

Audio Recording Prompts Bangladesh to Block Internet Access to YouTube


Bangladesh is blocking access to the popular media-sharing internet site YouTube because it contains an audio recording of a March 1 encounter between angry army officers and the prime minister.

In the recording angry army personnel are shouting at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina criticizing her handling of the mutiny by border guards who killed scores of their commanders.

The recording was made on March 1 during an emotional meeting at the Dhaka cantonment. Hundreds of officers were present, distraught after paramilitary soldiers brutally killed more than 50 members of the army, including many of the leaders of the Bangladesh Rifles border force.

According to the posting on the YouTube web site, the tape was uploaded by Maihul Islam Nasim, a reporter for the Bangla TV community channel in London.

Bangladeshi media say access to YouTube, one of the world's top Internet sites for sharing video clips, has been blocked in the interest of national security. Government officials confirm access in Bangladesh to YouTube and, several other web sites where the tape has also been posted, is "temporarily blocked," but decline to explicitly state why.

Copies of the tape were e-mailed among some Bangladeshis last week before it spread more widely over the Internet.

Some Bangladeshi newspapers quoted participants at the March 1 meeting, but media sources in Dhaka say they are refraining from publishing a transcript of the tape.

A reputable independent Bangladesh media web site, bdnews24.com, in a report posted late Sunday said the recording was "leaked apparently by rogue intelligence agents."

The insurrection, which occurred February 25-26, left about 70 people dead. The mutiny shook the two-month-old government of Sheik Hasina and has raised concerns about a violent backlash from the military. Her government has issued arrest warrants for more than 1,000 suspects and plans to hold a special tribunal.

Since gaining independence in 1971 in a war against Pakistan, Bangladesh has suffered a series of military takeovers and coup attempts.

XS
SM
MD
LG