Two lawyers have filed a writ petition seeking court directives to immediately take Likee, TikTok, Bigo Live apps, and PUBG and Free Fire games, down from all online platforms in Bangladesh.
Barrister Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallab and Barrister Mohammad Kausar filed the writ petition with the High Court on Thursday.
The Secretary of Post and Telecommunication Division, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home, Ministry of Law, the Ministry of Health, and the Inspector General of Police have been made defendants in the writ petition.
The petitioners told reporters a High Court bench may hold a hearing on the matter next week.
On 19 June, a legal notice was sent to shut down these apps and games as these services are said to inspire children and youth to engage in various immoral activities and become involved in various crimes, creating a teenage gang culture. Furthermore, TikTok followers are engaging in immoral sex activities at pool parties in various secret places.
There have also been recent incidents of money laundering and trafficking women, using TikTok, Likee and Bigo Live, which is highly alarming and contrary to the values of the country and the public interest, the notice read.
The notice went on to say that games like PUBG and Free Fire have become very popular among youth and children in Bangladesh. As a result, social values, education and culture are being destroyed and future generations are becoming incompetent.
At the same time, the notice sought the formation of a monitoring, evaluation and recommendation committee, to monitor these issues and to recommend online games suitable for children.
The lawyers said they filed their writ petition with the High Court when they did not receive any reply to the notice.