Bangladesh blocks YouTube over film

Dhaka, Sep 18 ( in Bangladesh on Monday blocked YouTube’s website indefinitely to stop the people watching a US-made film that insults the Prophet Muhammad and has sparked violence in the Muslim world.
Visitors in Bangladesh could not access the site after 5:30pm on Monday, an official with telecoms regulator BTRC’s System and Service Department told
The government on Sunday asked Google Inc that owns the video website to remove the 13-minute video clip of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ from its site. But there was no response from the search engine giant until Monday.
Protesters set on fire the US flag in Bangladesh, too, as several Islamist organisations took to the street over the issue. Protesters in Afghanistan and Indonesia burnt US flags and chanted `Death to America’ on Monday in renewed demonstrations.
Four US officials including the Ambassador to Libya were killed in the east Libyan city of Benghazi last week after anger over the film boiled over and US and other foreign embassies were stormed in several cities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East by enraged Muslims. At least nine other people have been killed.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Xia have urge the US to ban screening or publicity of the film.
YouTube has declined to take the film down, saying it fell within their guidelines, but blocked access to the film in India, Egypt and Libya because of “special circumstances” in those countries.
Afghanistan has blocked YouTube while Indonesia has also written to Google for withdrawing the video clip.
However, after reported the BTRC’s move, internet users from around Dhaka called office, saying they were able to view it.
Mohamad Sirajum Monir, a businessman from Uttara, said he saw the film on YouTube several times from 5:30pm until the BTRC official told about the block.
Asked about the matter, the BTRC official said ‘some technical reasons’ was delaying them from completely blocking the site.
Clips of the movie, posted on YouTube under several titles including “Innocence of Muslims”, had been posted online for weeks before apparently triggering violent demonstrations

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

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