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Bangladesh Tightens Blasphemy Laws, Arrests Two Youth for Facebook Posts

A Chittagong court has sent two bloggers to the jail after rejecting their bail pleas on Monday.

The bloggers are Kazi Mahbubur Rahman Raihan and Ullash Das, the students of Chittagong College and HSC examinees of this year, said Atik Ahmed Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Chawkbazar police station in the port city.

On Sunday, police arrested them from the city’s Chawkbazar area for their writing “insulting comments about Islam and Prophet Mohammad (SM)” in their facebook accounts, Rezaul Masud, additional deputy commissioner (prosecution) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police, told the Dhaka Tribune.

The duo were produced before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Rahamat Ali on Monday and the court ordered to send them to jail after hearing their bail pleas, Masud said.

Chawkbazar OC said Raihan and Ullash were caught by the public at around 1:00pm on Sunday. Later, police rescued them.

“Comments insulting Islam were found in their message inbox of their facebook accounts,” Sub Inspector (SI) Shiben Biswas of Chawkbazar police station, also the plaintiff of the case, said.

A case was lodged under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act, he also said, adding that police are trying to nab another accused of the case identified as Imran.

Abu Bakar Siddique Azim, defence counsel, said they will seek bail as both of the accused are HSC examinees.

“As far as we have seen, none of them made any kind of public writings that goes against anyone’s religious belief,” he said. 

“Of them, Raihan writes at Istishon Blog under the pseudonym ‘Ghurnayoman Electron’ but all his writings are nowhere linked with religious sentiment and the other boy only use facebook as his writing platform,” he added.

- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2014/mar/31/two-bloggers-sent-jail-chittagong#sthash.dbpLvGNs.dpuf