Readers cannot view Al Jazeera website in Bangladesh

Readers in Bangladesh have complained that they cannot see news on the website of Al Jazeera.

Published : 22 March 2019, 04:54 PM
Updated : 22 March 2019, 04:54 PM

Many of them found that they could not view the news publisher’s website from Thursday.

Posts on the newsfeed of Al Jazeera on Facebook cannot also be opened, they said.

The Qatar-based media published a report saying its website has been blocked in Bangladesh. The report can be found on Google, but the link to it could not be opened from Dhaka on Friday.   

Al Jazeera has shared the report on its Facebook page, but it could not be opened as well.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Chairman Jahurul Haque has denied blocking the Al Jazeera website.

“I am not aware of Al Jazeera’s website being blocked. But the BTRC will look into the issue if Al Jazeera informs us about it,” he told

BTRC had faced allegations of blocking news websites several times in past few years.

International Internet Gateway or IIG operators had said they “blocked” the websites on specific instructions from the telecom regulator, but the BTRC never admitted to issuing any such instruction.   

Asked what Al Jazeera’s case was, an official at an IIG operator told they did not get instructions from the BTRC to block the news website.

“A filtering system was launched at the gateways in February. The regulators can easily block any website. They don’t need to send letters of instructions for this now,” the IIG operator official said.

The BTRC ordered blocking of website in a sudden move on June 18 last year.

The websites of Bangladesh's largest news publisher were unblocked after several hours, but the regulator did not explain the shutdown order.

Jahurul had said the blocking was dictated by “government high-ups”.

The then information minister Hasanul Haq Inu denied issuing the orders. He had expressed surprise after hearing about the matter and said the government would investigate it.

Weeks before the Dec 30 general election, ISPs said they had been ordered to block over 50 websites, including news portals.

The websites were unblocked after a day and the BTRC again denied ordering the outage.