Section 57 abused in arrest of Khulna journalist over Facebook post: AL's Obaidul Quader

The Section 57 of ICT Act has been abused in the case of Khulna, where a journalist has been arrested for his Facebook post over a state minister and dead goat, says senior Awami League leader Obaidul Quader.

Published : 2 August 2017, 09:09 AM
Updated : 2 August 2017, 09:48 AM

"The Khulna incident is an abuse of the law. The information minister should step in to stop the abuse of Section 57," he told the media in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Abdul Latif Moral, the Dumuria Upazila correspondent of a Khulna-based newspaper, was sent to jail on Tuesday after police produced him in court.
He stands accused of defaming Khulna-5 MP Narayon Chandra Chanda, who also serves as the state minister for fisheries and livestock.

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Bail for journalist sued for Facebook post
On Jul 29, Chanda presided over a programme organised by the Dumuria livestock office, when goats and poultry were distributed among the poor and one of the goats died the same night.
The next day, Moral posted a picture of Chanda on Facebook with a Bangla caption, which roughly translates as 'a goat distributed in the morning and dies at night.'
Dumuria resident Subroto Fouzdar, the local correspondent of a Jessore-based newspaper, filed the case with the local police accusing Moral of libel.
Moral was arrested under the controversial ICT law that drew criticism from media and rights activists who say the particular provision -- Section 57 -- effectively muzzles the freedom of speech and expression.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Road Transport Minister Quader said, "A case over such issues should be only filed upon consulting with the higher authorities. It's not appropriate at all to sue someone over trivial matters.”
Section 57 criminalises ‘publishing fake, obscene or defaming information in electronic form.'

An offence, which is non-bailable under the law, is punishable by at least seven years to a maximum of 14 years in jail. Fine can be as high as Tk 10 million.