It has been confirmed that the Detective Branch of Bangladesh Police has detained three bloggers- Rasel Parvez, Mashiur Rahman Biplob & Subrata Adhikari Shuvo yesterday night for their alleged write-ups demeaning Islam and Prophet Muhammad. They were initially summoned to the police station and later taken to their home and their laptops, mobile phones and other devices were confiscated. They were moved to an unknown location.
This comes after the government took steps against bloggers and Facebook users who made derogatory remarks about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. On March 31, representatives of hardliner Muslim clerics submitted a list of 84 bloggers [bn] to the nine member committee formed by the Home Ministry whom they accuse of atheism and writing against Islam.
It may be mentioned here that Bangladesh is a non-religious parliamentary democracy, so there is no sharia law or blasphemy law. If anybody claims to be an atheist, he or she has the same rights as other citizens. However, Under Section 295A of Bangladesh’s Penal Code (1860), any person who has a “deliberate” or “malicious” intention of “hurting religious sentiments” can be subject to imprisonment.
Screenshot of Rasel’s blog hosted in the blogging platform Somewherein.net
Intellectual, physicist, blogger, and writer Rasel Parvez has mainly two blogs one hosted in Somewherein.net platform, and another in Amarblog.com. However he is accused of content published in another blog under the pseudonym Opobak.
Subrata Adhikari Shuvo writes in Amarblog.com in his own name. He has been accused for content published under the nickname Lalu Koshai.
It is yet to be seen whether the authorities are able to establish that these bloggers had any “deliberate” or “malicious” intention of “hurting religious sentiments” with their writings. The Detective Branch will have a press briefing at noon today (Bangladesh time).
আমারব্লগ আটক করা সকল ব্লগারের নিঃশর্ত মুক্তি দাবী করে এবং আশা প্রকাশ করে যে বাংলা ব্লগে স্বাধীনতাবিরোধী যে কোনো প্রচারণা ও প্রকাশনার বিরুদ্ধে সদাতৎপর আমারব্লগ এবং তার ব্লগারদের হয়রানী করা অতিস্বত্তর বন্ধ হবে!আমরা অতি সত্বর বাংলাদেশ সরকারের আরো কাছে জানতে চাই আদৌ সরকার আমারব্লগ ডট কমে বাংলাদেশে ব্লক করেছে কিনা এবং কি কারনে করা হয়েছে তাও জানতে চাই।
Amarblog demands unconditional release of all detained bloggers and hopes that harassment against bloggers and Amarblog platform, which is vocal against anti-liberation propaganda, will be stopped immediately. We also want to know from the Bangladesh government whether Amarblog.com is being blocked in Bangladesh and for what reason?