Bangladesh tightens screw against dissent media

Bangladesh tightens screw against dissent media
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ISLAMABAD - Bangladesh has tightened the screw against dissent media.

Bangladesh authorities have blocked access to a popular news portal in what critics on Tuesday condemned as the latest blow to freedom of expression in the South Asian nation.

Poriborton.com, one of the country's top five online news outlets, was shut without notice on Sunday, managing editor Abu Sufian told AFP, but he did not give a reason.

Officials for government agencies that regulate the internet industry denied any knowledge of the case or refused to comment.

But a Bangladesh media industry source said that a government security agency ordered the closure after the website raised questions about the financing of a newspaper advert against Muslim militancy.Muslim groups had condemned the advert, saying it described some signs of Islamic faith as marks of radicalisation.

In recent months the authorities have shut 54 news portals and websites, including that of the main opposition party, citing security reasons.

They cut access to the website of Qatar-based TV station Al Jazeera in March after it published an article alleging the involvement of a senior defence official in the disappearance of three men.

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