By Aaron Kesel
Bangladesh authorities have shut down mobile Internet across the country, officials and local media said on Sunday, ABS CBN News reported. Meanwhile, Reddit has begun a cardinal sin against free speech and human rights by censoring a user trying to shed light on the horrific human rights abuses happening in their country.
For a week, thousands of students across Bangladesh have been protesting against poor road safety after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus on July 29th.
But on Saturday the protests turned violent in Dhaka’s Jigatala neighborhood with more than 100 people including 20-25 journalists injured by Chhatra League, according to the Times Of India.
Several witnesses stated that police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators. Further, the witnesses alleged pro-government activists attacked young kids.
The ruling Awami League party has denied allegations its cadres beat students up.
Bangladesh authorities ceased access to 3G and 4G Internet services which have been shut down for more than 48 hours since late Saturday, shortly after the violence broke out.
Social media has been filled with videos and comments showing the scenes in Bangladesh. However, it appears Reddit has begun censoring the information coming out of Bangladesh, according to a Reddit user Helphumanity0.
— Fakir (@iqfa_bd) August 5, 2018
I am from Bangladesh. And in Bangladesh a protest had been going since July 30 by students of school and colleges. But today due to the order from our PM goons have invaded and killed many students and beating the shit out of us on roads.#bangladeshstudentprotests @CNN @BBC
— ?for you (@urmycocktail) August 4, 2018
Helphumanity0 details through a long string of posts what is really happening in Bangladesh. The posts being censored, show protesters holding 12mm bullets and extremely graphic pictures including protesters injured, allegations of one death and blood of protesters smeared all over a brick wall.
Jahirul Haq, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC), told AFP they received a “decision” from the government. But he did not clarify what the decision from the government was.
A senior telecom official who asked for anonymity told ABS CBN: “The BTRC has slowed down the internet at the order of the government,” according to reports.
Despite the Bangladeshis unable to access the Internet via phones, wireless and wired networks were unaffected. So, this was clearly aimed at stopping the spread of live streams of the massacres currently ongoing and stopping the public around the world from seeing these horrific scenes.
Pictures of the attacks on students allegedly by the ruling party activists have flooded social media, prompting outrage.
Police denied they fired rubber bullets or tear gas at the protesters. To this reporter’s knowledge, there haven’t been any comments made by the government or authorities about the pictures and videos circulating social media showing 12mm ammunition or the blood.
There is even a potential kidnapping. On Sunday, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) were alleged to have detained a famous photographer, Shahidul Alam, who was covering the protests, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The man was detained presumably over his Facebook posts over the ongoing student protests, according to the news organization.
However, the Ramna Division Additional Deputy Commissioner Abdullahel Kafi confirmed that a member of Shahidul’s family had informed the police that Shahidul was picked up from his home, but said that police didn’t detain him.
“Police has not detained him, and we do not know anything about this. We are investigating this allegation,” Kafi said.
“According to security guards of the apartment building and other eyewitness reports, there were roughly 30 to 35 men, in plain clothes, who claimed to be from the Detective Branch (DB),” the statement said.
“They taped up the CCTV camera, and took away the CCTV camera footage. The guards were manhandled and locked up.
This type of behavior will not be tolerated by the people of the world for simply protesting and voicing a concern. When citizens move to protest and the government’s response is to shoot rubber or real bullets, you are officially ruled by tyrants.
The international collective Anonymous has issued a statement following the attacks, documenting all current known information through CGAN, Cyber Guerilla Anonymous Network.
The movement also provided “needed links for security and internet access” for civilians on the ground who lack the knowledge to protect themselves.
The government of Bangladesh has just displayed for the world that it’s ruled by tyranny, and that it’s illegitimate and doesn’t care about its citizens. Especially when you move against the press or children for protesting safer street conditions.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.