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Bangla Oppn mouthpiece resumes publication under HC order

Last Updated: Friday, June 11, 2010 - 20:23

Dhaka: A mouthpiece of former Bangladesh
Premier Khaleda Zia`s main opposition BNP party on Friday resumed
publication under a High Court order that stayed for three
months its proscription by the government.

The `Amar Desh` came up with a four-page bulletin instead
of its regular 16-page daily edition as journalists of the
daily said they had to get it published on a makeshift
arrangement hurriedly from a different press as theirs was
still being sealed and guarded by police who were yet to get
the High Court order "in writing."

The bench comprising judges Nazmun Ara Sultana and Sheikh
Hasan Arif demanded a government explanation on the closure of
the newspaper, local media reported.

"We are working in line with the court order as
journalists and you have seen the newspaper in the paper stand
... we will continue to work," the `Amar Desh` chief reporter
Syed Abdal Ahmed told PTI, a day after a two-member High Court
bench stayed the government order scrapping its publication.

The development came 10 days after the government of
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proscribed the newspaper as its
publisher filed a case alleging its acting editor Mahmudur
Rahman became the owner of the daily through fraud while he
was no more the publisher of the newspaper.

Police arrested Rahman on "fraud" charges following a
night-long siege at the Desh office in Dhaka, hours after the
city administrative chief and magistrate ordered the

Under a magistrate court order he was remanded in police
custody for eight days to be quizzed in another two cases
filed later, including a sedition charge.

According to the sedition charge, Rahman had "hatched a
plot against the state" along with 15 former senior officials
during the caretaker government of ex-president Iajuddin
Ahmed, ahead of the postponed January 2007 general elections.

Under the other charge, police accused Rahman, the former
energy adviser of the past BNP-led four party regime, of
patronizing banned Islamist outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir in line with
confessional statements of several leaders of the group who
were arrested earlier.

Rahman, an engineer by profession, took charge of the
opposition mouthpiece over a year ago as its acting editor.

The ban on Desh and Rahman`s arrest, however, sparked
widespread criticism, with rights groups and journalist unions
calling it an attack on media freedom while the US and Britain
issued statements expressing concerns at the development.

A technocrat politician who eventually turned into a
newspaper editor, Rahman, however, too was criticised by
several journalist leaders, with his predecessor in the Desh,
Amanullah Kabir, saying "the newspaper under a
non-professional leadership appeared to have declared a war
against a government."


First Published: Friday, June 11, 2010 - 20:23
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