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 27 November 2014]|
Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2010
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.