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Bangladesh cartoonist gets jail sentence

Last Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 23:01

Dhaka: A Bangladesh court on Thursday sentenced a
cartoonist to two months of rigorous imprisonment for "hurting
the religious feelings of the Muslim community".

Judge Kaisarul Islam of the Judicial Magistrate`s Court
of Jessore also slapped a fine of USD 7.40 on Arifur Rahman of
now-defunct satire magazine `Alpin`, a weekly of Bengali
newspaper Prothom Alo.

Rahman, 25, was tried in absence over the publication of
`sacrilegious` cartoon in the magazine in Sep 2007, which
sparked street clashes and riots in the capital Dhaka, the
bdnews24 reported.

"Arif is at large. The verdict was given in his absence,"
his lawyer Alamgir Siddiqi was quoted as saying by the online
paper.

However, Arif said that he knew nothing about this case.
He said treason and blasphemy cases against him have been
dismissed in court.

The case filed by ATM Shoaib, the imam of the Jessore
Collectorate Mosque, alleged that the irreverent cartoon on
Prophet Muhammad had hurt religious feelings, the paper said.

Authorities charged the young cartoonist with "hurting
the religious sentiments of the people" and ordered 30 days`
detention. Arif`s detention was later extended by three
months.

Thousands of people defied a ban on protests to march
against the cartoon, forcing the newspaper`s editor to
publicly apologise and sack Rahman.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 23:01
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