Bangladesh HC bans media coverage of Zia's son
Bangladesh High Court today ordered a ban on broadcast, publication and dissemination of statements of the "fugitive" son of opposition leader Khaleda Zia amid heightened political tension in the country after the deadly violence on the first anniversary of the controversial polls.
Dhaka: Bangladesh High Court today ordered a ban on broadcast, publication and dissemination of statements of the "fugitive" son of opposition leader Khaleda Zia amid heightened political tension in the country after the deadly violence on the first anniversary of the controversial polls.
"The High Court asked the government to take steps to prohibit publication, broadcast and dissemination of Tarique Rahman's speeches and statements in print, electronic and social media as long as he remains fugitive," Deputy Attorney General Biswajit Roy told newsmen.
The two-member bench comprising justices Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Abu Taher Mohammad Saifur Rahman issued the order, responding to a writ filed by Supreme Court lawyer Nasrin Siddiqui Lina yesterday.
Lina sought the ban amid heightening political tensions after a spate of deadly violence surrounding the first anniversary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's controversial re-election.
Lina said Rahman, the senior vice president of BNP who is now living in London apparently to evade justice as he is wanted by several courts in number of criminal and graft charges, was "hurting the sentiment of Bangladeshis" and disturbing peace.
In one of the cases, Rahman was accused of masterminding the deadly grenade attack on Hasina in 2004 in which 24 people were killed while in recent years he hit the headlines with his controversial remarks on Bangladesh's history.
Rahman, the presumed political heir to BNP chief Khaleda Zia, claims that the country's father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Pakistani collaborator during 1971 Liberation War.
In several public statements in recent period, he said Bangabandhu was the "illegal prime minister" in post independent Bangladesh while his father, military-ruler-turned politician Ziaur Rahman was Bangladesh's first president.
Today's development in the High Court came two days after most Bangladeshi TV channel operators stopped airing the transmission of a private television channel after it broadcast live an address by Rahman who asked his supporters "not to return home until they topple the present government".
Information Minister Hassanul Haq Inu, however, ruled out reports that the government banned the Ekushey channel and said that police detained its chairman Abdus Salam to face a charge under Pornography Control Act over transmission of crime related programme two months ago.
At least four people were killed across Bangladesh as violence erupted coinciding with the January 5 polls anniversary with BNP calling for a nationwide non-stop blockade forcing long distance buses to stay off the highways largely delinking the capital Dhaka with rest of the country.
The anti-government activists set on fire a number of buses in Dhaka and elsewhere.
Rahman was arrested by the then military-backed interim government in 2006 and implicated in a couple of corruption cases and at the fag end of the 2006-2008 emergency rules he was paroled and allowed to go abroad for medical treatment.
He preferred to stay back in Britain as the 2008 general elections brought Awami League to power with three fourths majority.