The High Court (HC) on Monday released the full text of its order directing the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to take steps to remove Al Jazeera's report titled "All the Prime Minister's Men" from online platforms.
The court also ordered BTRC to request Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram to remove the report from the Internet, nationally and internationally, and not re-upload it.
The court said, "Considering a democratic country, its social system and the country's image, the court, in its special power, has ordered BTRC to take measures regarding the matter."
The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah, in its 37-page order, made the observation.
Earlier, on 17 February, the High Court ordered the removal of "All the Prime Minister's Men" from all online platforms – including YouTube, Twitter and Instagram – which aired on the Al Jazeera television network, after hearing a writ petition.
On 9 February, the HC appointed six amici curiae to comment on whether the HC would issue an order banning the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television network from broadcasting and removing the report from the online platform, and the admissibility of the writ.
They are former attorneys general AJ Mohammad Ali and Fida M Kamal as well as senior lawyers Kamal Ul Alam, Prabir Niyogi and Shahdeen Malik.
Five of them told the court on 15 February that the petition was not admissible.
Other amicus curiae Abdul Matin Khasru, former law minister, said the writ could continue and that the High Court could order the closure of Al Jazeera's transmission in Bangladesh.
On 8 February, Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Enamul Kabir Emon filed a writ petition seeking High Court order to stop broadcasting Al Jazeera in Bangladesh.
The writ petition also called for the removal of the report headlined by "All the Prime Minister's Men," which was circulated by the media on all online platforms.
In the writ petition, the Secretary of Posts and Telecommunications, Secretary of Information and Technology, BTRC chairman, Inspector General of Police and others were made defendants.
The report was aired by the Qatar-based television station on 1 February.
Various ministries of the government, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the police headquarters, strongly condemned and protested the report. The Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists has also issued a statement calling for stopping the broadcast of Al Jazeera in Bangladesh.