Magistrates dismiss two sedition cases filed against embattled activist Priya Saha

Dhaka metropolitan magistrates have dismissed two separate cases of sedition filed against embattled minority rights activist Priya Saha over her controversial remarks to Donald Trump about the alleged persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh.

Published : 21 July 2019, 11:45 AM
Updated : 21 July 2019, 04:09 PM

An action for sedition can only be pursued with the permission of the government, the magistrates reasoned, before throwing out the cases as neither was filed with the requisite approval.

Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Syedul Haque Suman and Dhaka Bar Association’s executive council member Advocate Ibrahim Khalil filed the cases with the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Sunday morning.

Magistrate Ziaur Rahman heard Suman’s case while Khalil’s case was conducted in Magistrate Abu Sufian Md Noman’s court.

Arrest warrants were sought against Priya Saha in these cases filed under Section 124 (Ka) of the penal code.

Saha, organising secretary of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, attended a meeting at the White House in Washington on Jul 17.

After identifying herself as a Bangladeshi, she was seen telling Trump, among other things, that 37 million people of minority groups have disappeared from Bangladesh.

Refuting her remarks, the foreign ministry said, Bangladesh is a “beacon” of religious freedom and communal harmony, where people of all faiths have been living in peace for ages.

“As a Bangladeshi national, she has made false, purposeful and treasonous remarks. We must take measures against her and are in the process of doing so,” said Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that there is a reason and motive behind her allegations which need to be properly scrutinised.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher