Bangladesh authorities are continuing the blockade it had imposed on the online edition of anti-militancy newspaper Weekly Blitz since January 22, 2019. Due to this blockade, readers in Bangladesh are not able to have access to the site.
The weekly Blitz played a very important role in the December 30 general elections in Bangladesh. PM Sheikh Hasina got great support from this news journal.
Blitz is criticizing the radical-Islamic ideologies. This is one of the reasons mainstream Muslim scholars do not like this journal to be available for the general audience in so-called Muslim state-Bangladesh.
Blitz always talks about defending the state of Israel hence has strong ties with the Israeli government. This is the only newspaper to be recognized by western policymakers from the Asian region.
Since the Eastern Herald shook hands with Blitz, the radical Islamic teachers and their supporters have an edge on this network. The Eastern Herald news journal is focusing on protecting free speech and advocating minorities worldwide.
We are advocating all kinds of minorities worldwide, be it religious, ethnic, racial or any. Free speech is the right of the press and if this right is snatched from us then what is the meaning of media? We always spoke bluntly and will always remain the same.
— Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa(Editor in Chief The Eastern Herald)
Despite Bangladesh Prime Minister‘s repeatedly pledge of fighting militancy and ensuring freedom of expression, this blockade on Blitz site clearly puts a cloud on such promises. It may be mentioned here that, ruling Awami League is now affiliated with a pro-Caliphate group named Hefazat e Islam (HeI). Sheikh Hasina’s government also is clearly inclined towards Iran and Palestine and considers Israel as an ‘enemy state’.
Blocking an Anti-radical Islam newspaper website in the country could cause great harm to the reputation of the prime minister as well as the country. PM Sheikh Hasina who always stepped further fighting militancy would face question mark on her role in combatting radical-Islamic forces in her own country.
“This is something I can never imagine in the political regime of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. But I’m very upset with this behavior of our government. They are not telling us the reason for this blockage. I clearly state that this is a direct attack on free speech and free media.” said Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, the editor of Blitz
Democratic nations and forces in the world, including journalist rights groups, need to condemn this crude assault on the free press by the Bangladesh regime, which is increasingly becoming autocratic.
Blitz is known for its pro-Israel and Zionist editorial policy.