Bangladesh blocked access to the video-sharing site YouTube after it hosted a recording of a tense meeting between the prime minister and army officials following a bloody mutiny by border guards, officials said yesterday.
The insurrection last month claimed more than 70 lives, shook the two-month-old government of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and raised tensions with the military, which opposed her handling of the incident.
YouTube “has been temporarily blocked in the national interest,” said Abbas Faruq, a spokesman for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
Faruq said gateway access to a few other Web sites, like esnips.com, were also being blocked. He would not say when the sites would be unblocked.
Commission Chairman Zia Ahmed defended the decision.
“The government can take any decision to stop any activity that threatens national unity and integrity,” Ahmed said, according to the online news service bdnews24.com.
The audio clip recorded Hasina defending her decision to negotiate with the mutineers while army officials shouted and jeered, drowning her out and preventing her from speaking.
The clip was being posted on blogs and overseas Web sites that cater to Bangladeshis.
Nasrin Sultana, a manager at Access Telecom Bangladesh, a major Internet providers, said the site was blocked late on Sunday because of an audio clip from the March 1 meeting.
Military officials and others with knowledge of the meeting said the gathering was tense.
The Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 revolt at the Dhaka headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles left senior army officials furious at Hasina for negotiating with the mutineers instead of ordering an army attack.
The government and the army have both launched investigations into attack, which apparently began over complaints over pay, perks and promotion prospects.
The government rescinded its offer of amnesty for those behind the mutiny after the dozens of bodies were discovered.