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Despite Growth Of Bangladeshi Bloggers, Challenges To Press Freedom Continue

Data Taken From Reporters Without Borders

Jana, from somewhere inblog, agrees when it comes to pressure from the government. She was contacted by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to remove several blogs for being anti-Islamic. There was pressure from Islamist parties as well. I was (receiving) serious threats, death threats from the Jamaat-e-Islami, she said. To deal with these threats, Jana and her team started creating a transparency report, which lists every request they received to shut down a blog and who it was made by. But the issue of religion is unlikely to be solved anytime soon. For Bulbul Monjurul Ahsan, editor-in-chief and CEO of Boishakhi television, a local TV channel and vice chair of the Vienna-based International Press Institute, as admirable as the rise of bloggers has been, the issue of religion is much deeper and comes from the very conservative, very religious, very segregated culture. Its a confrontation of culture the confrontation is (still) there, the opposition from the religious fundamentalist groups is there, he said. Repressive and Outdated Laws Another major threat to press freedom in the country has been repressive laws, analysts said. Amendments made to one such law, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act, last year are raising concerns amongst journalists and analysts. Even before the amendments, the law made it an offence if anyone deliberately publishes, amongst other material, anything that may hurt religious belief(s) on a website or other electronic media. The amendments now allows law enforcement agencies to arrest a suspect without a warrant and have increased the maximum jail sentence from 10 to 14 years, something Jana felt would hurt the freedom of the press in the country. Laws have come up, including the ICT Act, that have been brought into effect really to curb criticism on these online spaces, said Galhotra from CPJ.
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Art World Abstracts: Manifesta 11 Gets a Chief Curator, And More! | New York Observer

[ Artforum ] David Hockneys doctor told him to give up booze, sex, rich foods and smoking. His response? He went out and bought 2000 Camel Wides, middle finger in the air. Hero. [ The Guardian ] Its been a big year for Beatles memorabilia at auction, and now John Lennons Gretsch 6120 is going up on the block, and its expected to get $600,000. Its the one that he used to record guitar tracks for Paperback Writer. Man, Paperback Writer is the ultimate jam . [ BBC ] Mass MoCA is teaming up with some of the titans of contemporary art in order to to become a true powerhouse on the international museum scene. Some participating artists and institutions includeJames Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, the estate of the sculptor Louise Bourgeois, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. [ NYT ] And heres Peter Schjeldahl on Elaine Sturtevantwho had a surprisingly great showing at the auctions last weekand her retrospective at MoMA, which may have been the reason for her big week: Was Sturtevant prophetic? Not really, unless you imagine that the likes of Warhol and Beuys were unaware of their own works philosophical implications. But no one at the time was a faster study.
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