Bangladesh court orders 3-month ban on addictive online games PUBG, Free Fire

The High Court has ordered a three-month ban on online games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, popularly known as PUBG, and Garena Free Fire, also known as Free Fire.

Published : 16 August 2021, 08:02 AM
Updated : 16 August 2021, 08:26 AM

The court on Monday also issued a rule asking why video sharing and streaming platforms such as TikTok and Likee should not be banned in response to a writ petition, according to Deputy Attorney General Nowroz Md Rasel Chowdhury who represented the state at the hearing.

The rule also asked why a high-level committee should not be formed to oversee and review such games and video streaming services and why it should not order the creation of a policy regarding such matters.

Among the defendants were the secretary of post and telecommunications, the BTRC chairman, the secretary of education, the home secretary, the law secretary, the health secretary and the inspector general of police. Those ordered to respond to the rule have 10 days to reply.

The High Court virtual bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah made the decision after an initial hearing on the petition.

Advocate Humayun Kabir Pallab presented the petition to the court. The petition was also backed by Advocate Mohammed Kawsar.

The two petitioners sent a legal notice to the defendants on Jun 19 highlighting the negative effects of these games and online video streaming apps on children, teenagers and other members of the younger generation.

These games and apps are leading to addiction among children and teenagers of Bangladesh and are damaging the nation’s “education, culture and values” while developing a “violent mentality” among teenagers, they said.

They demanded that these games and apps be banned or restricted.

After failing to receive a response to their legal notice, the petitioners sought an order from the High Court.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher