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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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Anti-Islam Film

YouTube blocked in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission last night blocked popular video streaming website YouTube.com.

Public Relations and Publication Director Mir Morshed Ahmed of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd yesterday told The Daily Star that the site was blocked in Bangladesh around 10:30pm.

On Sunday night, BTRC requested Internet giant Google to block a controversial anti-Islam movie trailer on YouTube, a website owned by Google.

Md Giashuddin Ahmed, chairman in charge of BTRC, earlier yesterday said the commission had sent a letter to Google to this end Sunday night. Around 24 hours later the website was blocked.

Google is accessed in Bangladesh through its Indian office and so the letter was sent to Google India, said a BTRC official.

According to the existing laws of Bangladesh, one cannot do anything that hurts people's religious sentiments, the official added.

The government has no intention to block YouTube in Bangladesh, he had said, adding that if, however, Google failed to block the trailer in Bangladesh, BTRC might block YouTube.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday condemned the making of the controversial film by a United States producer and urged the US government to immediately stop the film's sale and projection.

"No Muslim can tolerate such defamation of Prophet Muhammad (SM)," she said, adding, "We have already taken necessary steps to prevent the trailer from being accessed from Bangladesh."

Earlier, Google refused a White House request to take down the YouTube movie trailer that triggered widespread anti-American protests. The trailer is based on the film Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the prophet as a fraud and philanderer.

Google said it was censoring the video in India and Indonesia, and has already blocked it in Egypt and Libya, where US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi.

Google said it would work with local law enforcement than respond to political pressure to take down the clip, according to Reuters.

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