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More than ten blogs blacked out their sites in protest amidst series of government harassment and arrests on pro-secular, anti-Islamist bloggers over allegations of being “atheist” and accusing them for blasphemy.
The blogs homepage posted messages decrying government’s crackdown on the blogging community.
“Muzzle Me Not,” homepage of nagorikblog.com, states, “Resist and protest government’s appeasement of fundamentalists — arrest and torture of bloggers — harassment of blog platforms.”
Other blogs, including Shachalayatan, Amarblog, Amar Bondhu, Muktangong, Mukto-mona, Choturmatrik and Unmochon, echoed the same.
So far, law enforcers have arrested four bloggers in the last three days, sparking widespread criticism and outrage from different quarters, especially from the blogging community.
Abu Mustafiz (m), moderator of Unmochon blog said, “we have closed our sites in protest at the arrest and harassment of bloggers and closing of blogs as part of a hateful political ploy.”
However, Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana, founder of SomeWhereInTheBlog, Khaledur Rahman Shakil’s blog http://site.voiceofbangladesh.us/ and few others have disagreed to blackout their homepage. They argue that at this crucial period of harassment, it is imperative to have their blogs in cyberspace to inform the public. To inform is also a social responsibility, Jana said.
Source: The Daily Star, April 5, 2013
Saleem Samad is an Ashoka Fellow (USA) and correspondent for Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris based media freedom watchdog