Bangla lecturer jailed for inept Facebook status

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 18:48

Dhaka: A university lecturer, who posted a
Facebook status wishing for the death of Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina, was on Wednesday sentenced to six-month in jail by a
Bangladeshi court.

Muhammad Ruhul Amin Khandaker was sentenced after he
failed to respond to a summon to appear before the High Court
in connection with the post, of which the court took a suo
motto notice.

Khandakar was handed out the jail term in absentia as he
is studying in Australia.

"The High Court sentenced him (Khandaker) six months jail
as he ignored the summon ordering his personal appearance over
his comments in the Facebook," deputy attorney general A B M
Altaf Hossain told newsmen.

He said the High Court bench comprising Justice A H M
Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Jahangir Hossain, was
yet to issue any order on the main allegation against the
lecturer.

Khandaker, a lecturer of Information Technology at
suburban Jahangirnagar University, is currently in Australia
on an academic course but the court ordered the foreign office
to take immediate steps to bring him back home through
diplomatic channel.

The bench also asked police to arrest Khandaker
immediately on his return and the university authorities to
take punitive action against him according to law, which could
result in him losing his job.

Khandaker had posted a status in his Facebook account
after deaths of leading filmmaker Tareque Masud and journalist
Ashfaque Munier Mishuk in a road crash in August last year
saying why Sheikh Hasina does not die when many people were
dying in road accidents in the country.

"Everyone dies, why not Hasina?" read the status, which
Khandaker, however, deleted immediately after students wing
of the ruling Awami League staged protests at the
Jahangirnagar University demanding his punishment.

The High Court on the same month in a "suo motto rule"
asked Khandaker to explain in two weeks why he should not be
prosecuted for his "derogatory comment" and ordered last month
his personal appearance to face a "contempt of court" charge
as he did not respond to its earlier order.

The verdict came as the attorney general`s office told
the court that Khandaker received himself in Australia the
Home Ministry notices notifying him the High Court order for
his personal appearance and contempt of court rule but tended
to defy the orders.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 18:48

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