Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December 2014, 20:05 GMT

Annual Prison Census 2010 - Bangladesh

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 8 December 2010
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2010 - Bangladesh, 8 December 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4d4977ebc.html [accessed 17 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2010

Bangladesh: 1

Mahmudur Rahman, Amar Desh
Imprisoned: June 1, 2010

Police raided the offices of the pro-opposition Bengali-language daily Amar Desh and arrested Rahman, a former opposition energy adviser and majority owner of the paper. Rahman, who was also serving as editor, was charged with unlawfully publishing the paper under an ex-employee's name, local news reports said.

Dhaka Deputy Commissioner Muhibul Haque revoked Amar Desh's publishing rights under the nation's restrictive registration rules, causing the paper to close for about a month before the Supreme Court overturned the order and ruled the paper could reopen, according to an Amar Desh editor, Zahed Chowdhury.

Rahman obtained bail on the publishing charge but continued to be held on a number of other charges, including insult and defamation, that his supporters said were intended to suppress his critical journalism. During a court appearance on June 13, Rahman said police had blindfolded and beat him in custody, according to the local New Age newspaper. "On remand, he was seriously tortured and mistreated," his lawyer said.

On August 10, the Supreme Court sentenced Rahman to six months in prison and fined him 100,000 taka (US$1,436) on charges of harming the court's reputation. The charge stemmed from an April 21 Amar Desh article accusing the court of being biased in favor of the state, according to Agence France-Presse. Two colleagues were fined, and one served a month in prison, on the same charge, according to local news reports.

More than 20 defamation charges against Rahman, filed by members or allies of the ruling Awami League, including current energy adviser, Tawfik-e-Elahi Chowdhury, were pending in late year.

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