December 10, 2015 / 4:12 PM / in 2 years

Bangladesh lifts ban on Facebook

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh lifted a ban on Facebook on Thursday, three weeks after blocking it in anticipation of protests after the Supreme Court upheld death penalties on two opposition leaders, a government official said.

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 13, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Four days after the Nov. 18 ban on Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed were hanged simultaneously for atrocities committed during the 1971 war of independence.

Tarana Halim, the junior minister for post and telecommunications ministry said at a news conference in the capital Dhaka that the government was grateful to younger Bangladeshis in particular for not protesting over the hangings.

There was a one-day national general strike in peaceful protest the day after the court’s decision and again the day after the hangings.

She told reporters the ban on WhatsApp and Viber would remain in place for now.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh has seen a rise in Islamist violence in recent months, with two foreigners and four secular writers and a publisher killed this year.

Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Editing by Louise Ireland

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