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Bangladesh lifts YouTube ban

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission [official website] on Wednesday lifted the country's ban against YouTube [website]. The website has been banned since September, after an anti-Islam movie appeared on the site. The movie, titled Innocence of Muslims [BBC backgrounder], is a spoof film that characterizes the Prophet Mohammed as a fool and womanizer. Sunil Kanti Bose, head of the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Body, said that the ban has been lifted [Reuters report] because it was hurting many individuals who use YouTube for beneficial purposes.

Upon its release last September, the anti-Islam movie incited a rapid and violent uprising in the Middle East, including an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left US Ambassador Christopher Stevens [WP obituary] and three other Americans dead. The same month of its release, a Brazilian court ordered [JURIST report] that YouTube remove the film from its site. A UN Special Rapporteur condemned the violent uprising [JURIST report] that occurred in response to the film. A judge in California, where the film was produced, denied a request [JURIST report] by an actress in the film to grant a temporary restraining order to remove the film from YouTube. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the US had nothing to do with the anti-Muslim film [Reuters report] despite its apparent production in America, in turn labeling it disgusting and reprehensible.

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