Khulna journalist arrested over Facebook post on state minister for livestock, dead goat

Police arrested a journalist in Khulna after he was sued under a controversial law for a Facebook post over a ruling party lawmaker and a dead goat.

Published : 1 August 2017, 12:56 PM
Updated : 1 August 2017, 01:07 PM

Abdul Latif Moral, the Dumuria Upazila correspondent of a Khulna-based newspaper, was sent to jail after police produced him in court following his arrest on Tuesday.

Moral stands accused of defaming Khulna-5 MP Narayon Chandra Chanda, who also serves as the state minister for fisheries and livestock.

He was arrested under the ICT Act's Section 57 that drew criticism from media and rights activists who say the particular provision effectively muzzles the freedom of speech and expression.

Dumuria police OC Sukumar Biswas said the case was filed by Dumuria resident Subroto Fouzdar, the local correspondent of a Jessore-based newspaper.

Photo: Facebook/Latif Moral

Quoting case details, OC Biswas said Chanda presided over a programme organised by the Dumuria livestock office on Saturday.

The state minister distributed goats and poultry among the poor at the programme 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.'

Section 57 of the ICT Act 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.