Blasphemy lawsuit – Bangladeshi Gay man accused

Blasphemy lawsuit – Bangladeshi Gay man accused
August 29 10:54 2019 Print This Article

On 26th August 2019 the perennially busy and overworked Dhaka Cyber Tribunal, added a blasphemy lawsuit to its already burgeoning workload. The blasphemy lawsuit, which sent shockwaves across the court premises today according to our sources, has been filed against a total of 50. The defendants (whose name have bee disclosed below) have been accused of being derogatory and abusive towards religion, particularly Islam. Unsurprisingly thus, the lawsuit has been filed in accordance with Section Screenshot 2019-11-21 at 00.10.0628 of The Digital Security Act 2018.

For those of our readers who are unaware, Section 28 of The Digital Security Act 2018 is a law which when breached can lead to serious legal consequences including fines, and long jail times. Naturally, it was introduced in a bid to discourage blasphemy indeed or indulge in it at all.

The plaintiff of this lawsuit has been identified as one Hridoy Quazi. He is a prominent activist of Hefazat-e-Islam, an Islamic extremist group, as are the explicit reasons as to why he has taken such an initiative. But our court sources cite that the plaintiff “felt compelled” from “his sense of duty as a Muslim” to punish those that seek to harm Islam.

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Sultanul Arefin Siam, a Bangladeshi Blogger, LGBT Rights Activist & Writer. Photo: Collected.

Meanwhile we wearable to extract a lot more information on the defendants of this lawsuit. The list comprises of rather well-known bloggers, online activists. It appears the plaintiff has named one Sultanul Arefin Siam, a Bangladeshi bisexual man and LGBT rights activist, who the plaintiff along with his other (listed) colleagues accuses of producing ‘crude and perverted’ content on religion in general. It appears that the accused have had the alleged blasphemous content they produced, published properly on to a magazine called “Atheist in Bangladesh”. An attempt to contact the defendants was futile as well for our correspondent understands that most of these individuals are currently residing on foreign soil. The names of these bloggers and activists are now listed below,

Arman Ahmed, Tanvir Ahmed, KM Mahfuzuar Rahman, Aminul Huq, Kazi Wahiduzzaman, Prashanta Baroi, Adnan Saqib, MD Omar Faruque, Secular Publishers, Md Omar Sani, Shraboni Shikder, Hayat Hamidullah Robin, MD Tofail Hossain, Hosne Mobarak, Sanjida Samira Tamanna, Rumon Mia, Farzana Islam, Rumana Afroze Rakhi, Biplob Paul, Nilufar Hoque, Aurunangshu Chakraborty, Ashef Abrar Tito, Saiful Islam, Rashedul Alam, Chinmoy Debnath, Zobair Hossain, Md Anisuzzaman, Miftahur Rahman, Md Sabbir Ahmed, Enamul Haque, Syed Samun Ali, Abdullah Baki, Ahsanul Karim, Abu Hanif, Md Mahadi Hossain, Md Rezaul Islam, Kawsar Hamid, Doller Biswas, Md Anisur Rahman and others.

What was surprising, however, was that this magazine already has a rather chequered history in terms of facing legal charges, with already quite a few other lawsuits to its name. We are trying to obtain more information on that as we write this.

Our correspondent next got in touch with the local police station in a bid to determine whether any formal investigations have been launched or not. However, a spokesperson for the station (the chief inspector refused to speak to us) cited that if a complaint has indeed been launched, it will take time for the place to receive official instructions to carry out an investigation. Before ushering our correspondent out the spokesperson stated that they take all matters of blasphemy very seriously.

Meanwhile, social media channels have been rife with a discussion once news of the lawsuit broke today. The popular opinion here appears to be that of general approval, several agreeing that the plaintiff has ‘taken the right’ measures in order to preserve the holiness of this ‘Land of Allah’.

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