Bangladesh orders censor of opposition chief speeches

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

DHAKA: A Bangladesh court ordered the state-run telecoms regulator to delete speeches of an exiled opposition leader from social media as the country readies for general elections, officials said on Monday.

Tarique Rahman, 55, acting chairm of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is a leading figure and staunch critic of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but the London-based politician must address his supporters remotely.

The BNP and its allies have staged a series of protests since last year demanding Hasina step down and allow a caretaker government to oversee the general elections due by the end of January. “The High Court ordered the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission remove the speeches and remarks of Tarique Rahman from social media”, Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar told AFP.

The order bolsters a 2015 ruling that banned the publishing and broadcasting of speeches by Rahman in domestic media after he was accused of making “derogatory” remarks against Hasina´s father, Bangladesh´s first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.