Indian police on Tuesday apprehended a journalist in Bangladesh for allegedly defaming a minister in a Facebook post about a dead goat.
The reporter at a regional Bengali-language daily, Abdul Latif Morol, was detained before dawn in the coastal town of Dumuria after a journalist from a rival newspaper filed a case under a draconian internet law, Punch reported.
“The complainant said Morol has defamed the state (junior) minister for fisheries and livestock, Narayan Chandra Chanda, after he made a derogatory post about him in Facebook,” local police chief Sukumar Biswas told Nigeria News.
Chanda was the chief guest at an event planned by the government’s local livestock department, a part of his ministry, at Dumuria on Saturday.
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At the event livestock, including ducks, goats, and chickens, were donated to underprivileged farmers, but according to Indian Press, the donated goats later died.
The death triggered Morol to write on Facebook “Goat given by state minister in the morning dies in the evening,” Biswas said.
The complainant claimed that Morol’s post was targeted at “undermining” the minister “socially and personally” as he should have held the local livestock officials as opposed to blaming the minister.
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In an interview with a local newspaper the plaintiff disclosed that he filed the complaint because he was a supporter of the nationally ruling Awami League. “We did not like the matter (the Facebook post).”
Rights groups have accused the Bangladesh government of using Section 57 of the Information and Communications Technology law — the law under which the current complaint was filed — to crack down on opposition and hassle journalists.
Last month Scores of journalists carried out a demonstration in the capital Dhaka to demand that the controversial section be revoked, following the arrest and trial of journalists under the draconian law.
Source: Naija News