- Posted April 3, 2013 by
Bloggers arrested unlawfully in Bangladesh
So it is the 21 Century, when we actually have technologies beyond our imagination even 50 years back. This is the time when the earth actually turned in a smaller place with all the inventions and methods of communication. But even as we speak, and socializing more; in Bangladesh the darkness is rising. Bloggers are being arrested by the government because they wrote about free thinking and atheism. They are being charged with blasphemy. They’re being treated as serial killers, even when there are terrorists on open streets causing mass destruction, arsons even killing police-men like animals.
April 2nd, 2013 3 bloggers were taken in the silence of the night. As of the muktomona.com cited “the police under government dictate have arrested three bloggers (Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplob and Rasel Parvez) in Dhaka, and then several others including one the popular atheist blogger, Asif Mohiuddin in the following day.” These arrests weren’t made with any proper warrants, but the bloggers were actually taken away by force. They are being charged (and being investigated later) with the excuse that they’ve hurt the minds of religious (read: Muslims) people by spreading atheism, disrespecting Islam, Allah, and his Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Let’s note a point that the Constitute actually grants “freedom of thought, conscience and expression” as a fundamental right. So no one has any authority to arrest or charge with blasphemy to anyone, accusing they wrote derogatory contents against any religion whatsoever. As cited on www.thedailystar.net, website of a prominent daily newspaper, “The home ministry has identified 11 bloggers “who have hurt religious sentiment of Muslims through their writings”, Home Minister MK Alamgir has informed. ‘Four of them have so far been arrested while efforts are on to capture the others,’ he told journalists after a high-profile meeting at the ministry on Wednesday.”
Maybe you’ll remember about the Shahbag movement that caused uproar when the government didn’t do the justice to a well-known, proved rapist - mass murderer Kader Mulla, at the trial of the war criminals of 1971 Independence war. The movement started with a few bloggers and web writers of Facebook on 5th February 2013. As pointed on http://shahbagmovement.com/ this mass uproar for justice was supported by Bangladeshis all over the world, and this is the lengthiest peaceful protest in the world until now. And right after this, several Islamists and political parties started going against it while supporting those criminals. They called the rioters atheists, when 99% of them were peace loving, lawful citizens of different religions from all over. The government didn’t take it into count, and they kept spreading the hate speeches against the Shahbag Movement. And now, just because a new Islamist party called “Hefajotey Islam (meaning: keepers of Islam)” threatened us, giving ultimatums to arrest and punish with death sentence, the government actually made a list of 84 bloggers, where most aren’t even atheists, and now 6 are arrested and being treated, and interrogated without any proper charges
The arrests made since 2nd April, 2013 are simply disrespectful to the constitutional rights of free speech & democracy. The penal code of Bangladesh, which were actually been published for effect at 1860 by the British government expresses, "Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. (The Penal Code, 1860; of offences relating to religion, chapter XV). But it never said, being an atheist, or writing about the wrongs of religion is to be treated as a crime.
In Pakistan they have the blasphemy law in effect. According to Wikipedia, “The Pakistan Penal Code prohibits blasphemy against any recognised religion, providing penalties ranging from a fine to death.” It also said that an accusation of blasphemy commonly subjects the accused, police, lawyers, and judges to harassment, threats, and attacks. An accusation is sometimes the prelude to vigilantism and rioting (as cited thereby). As for that country, who used to rule over Bangladesh, and lost the war back in 1971, they can live in the darkness if they want to. But in Bangladesh, we cannot tolerate this blasphemy just because some fundamentalist gave ultimatums like – (4) Male and female cannot be seen together. Free speech or right of personal freedom has to be withdrawn, and protesting by lighting candles or alike has to be stopped (cited on http://www.dailynayadiganta.com/new/?p=153803). The link also quotes (10) The Christian missionaries have to be stopped from preaching, and the Non-Governmental Organizations in the Hill tracks of Chittagong needs to be removed.
We now urge every free minded citizens of the earth; please stand by our fight for justice. Stand by our right of freedom, and freedom of speech. All we ask for is to stick to the rights to us provided by our own government. All of the arrested bloggers needs to be released without any kind of charges upon any of us. We need to be able to express our voices freely without the fear of being beheaded like those morons in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
We are Bangladeshi people, and we want to stay as we are. We are not turning into another Afghanistan, or Pakistan; and we want you to stand by us, be a part of the protest with us.
Joy Bangla (Victory to Bangladesh).