DHAKA: The Bangladesh government has ordered the closure of 191 websites it accuses of publishing “anti-state news”, stoking concerns about media freedom in the South Asian country.

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud told parliament on Monday that the government has instructed the telecoms regulator to close the domains following “reports from intelligence agencies”.0 He said the sites, which were not named, were “conducting activities that spread confusion among the public”.

Campaigners and foreign governments including the United States have long expressed worries about efforts by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to silence criticism.

Bangladesh’s draconian Digital Security Act, under which hundreds of people have been arrested since 2018, has caused particular alarm.