Four Bloggers Facing 14 Years in Jail and 100,000 Euro Fine
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||19 April 2013|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Four Bloggers Facing 14 Years in Jail and 100,000 Euro Fine, 19 April 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/518368964.html [accessed 20 January 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
Reporters Without Borders is appalled that four bloggers - Asif Mohiuddin, Russell Pervez, Mashiur Rahman and Subrata Adhikari - continue to be detained in Dhaka on charges of posting "false, indecent or defamatory" information and "hurting religious sentiments" in their blogs.
They are facing the possibility of a 14-year jail sentence and exorbitant fine of 10 million takas (100,000 euros).
"The charges against these four bloggers are completely unfounded and stem solely from a lack of courage on the part of the Bangladeshi authorities, who have clearly chosen to yield to pressure from Islamists. These judicial proceedings should be terminated at once and the bloggers should be released without delay.
"We hope their release is imminent but we meanwhile urge the authorities to order Asif Mohiuddin's immediate transfer to an individual cell in which he can receive medical treatment. Making him share a cell with Islamists who were accomplices to a murder attempt against him is a disgrace."
Dhaka magistrate Hasibul Haque rejected bail petitions for the four bloggers on 17 April after receiving two reports from police investigators, one on Mohiuddin and one on the other three bloggers.
Jyotirmoy Barua, a lawyer for one of the bloggers, said a Dhaka court that specializes in computer crimes would handle both cases. He added that the two reports are being treated as prosecution cases under Section 57 (2) of the Information and Communications Technology Act, 2006 (which was amended in 2009). The next hearing is scheduled for 21 April.
Mohiuddin's lawyer, Alauddin Mollah has filed a petition for special treatment for his client, who needs access to care and medicine because he is still suffering from the effects of the multiple stab wounds he received in a murder attempt encouraged by Islamists in January.
His lawyer has also requested Mohiuddin's release on bail on the grounds that no evidence has been produced of the crime he is supposed to have committed.