Cartoonist, journalist charged under Bangladesh internet law

Wednesday 15th September 2021 06:40 EDT

Dhaka: A high-profile cartoonist and a Sweden-based journalist were among seven men charged under Bangladesh’s internet law that critics say is being used against opposition figures. A court in Dhaka accepted formal charges laid out by police under the Digital Security Act against cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and rights activist and journalist Tasneem Khalil, prosecutor Nazrul Islam Shamim said.

The men were charged with publishing offensive and false information, defamation and intentionally publishing digital content that creates unrest or disorder. They face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. “The court has also issued arrest warrants against four of them who are on the run,” Shamim said.

Rights groups say the law is being used to silence the government’s critics. Kishore, 45, said he was a “victim of injustice”. He was granted bail in March after he was detained in May last year on preliminary. Kishore said he was tortured before police detained him. He said his alleged torturers had asked questions about cartoons he drew mocking a businessman close to the government as well as a series criticising the government’s response to the pandemic.

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