Bangladesh lifts ban on YouTube for publishing mutiny meeting audio

[JURIST] Officials from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) [official website] said Thursday that a ban on video-sharing website YouTube [JURIST report] has been lifted, but did not comment on access to several other blocked websites that also posted a recording in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina [official profile, BBC profile] is criticized by army officers over how she handled the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) [official website] mutiny [BBC backgrounder] in late February. The BTRC blocked several websites [AFP report] Sunday on government instructions that identified them as subversive or detrimental to the administration because the audio [YouTube clip, part 1 in Bangla; part 2, in Bangla] of the meeting could be distributed through them. BTRC Director Ziaul Islam told AFP Thursday that YouTube [corporate website] has been restored even though the audio is still available because tensions over the content have eased [AFP report]. BTRC Chairman Zia Ahmed confirmed the end of the YouTube ban but did not address other blocked blogs and websites hosting the audio including Esnips [corporate website].

Bangladeshi officials said Saturday that the government is considering trying by court-martial [JURIST report] the more than 1,000 border guards accused of participating in the BDR mutiny, which killed dozens of top BDR officials, including the force's commander. More than 40 suspects have been arrested, and Bangladeshi investigators said Thursday that interviews of the suspects have raised concerns [BBC report] of a possible link to the Islamic group Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) [SATP backgrounder], an organization previously tied to bombing plots across the country. A US FBI team sent to Bangladesh to assist in the investigation arrived on Sunday [BBN report], and Scotland Yard investigators have also joined the investigation. Hasina was elected to office in December 2008, ending two years of military rule.



 

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