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Bangladeshi bloggers to face court for alleged blasphemy

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First published: June 2, 2013, 9:13 PM IST | Updated: June 2, 2013
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Bangladeshi bloggers to face court for alleged blasphemy
The bloggers' movement became popular as Ganajagaran Mancha with the participation of thousands of activists.

Dhaka: Four bloggers in Bangladesh, who allegedly posted derogatory comments about Islam and the prophet on the Internet will face a court hearing on framing of charges against them on June 27. Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Mohammad Zahirul Haque took cognisance of the charges brought against the bloggers and fixed June 27 for starting the indictment hearing, bdnews reported.

Bloggers Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplab and Rasel Pervez were arrested from Dhaka on April 1 following persistent demands by the radical group Hifazat-e Islam. Two days later, Asif Mahiuddin was called to detective police office and arrested. He was later remanded.

The bloggers were arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiments. Bloggers and online activists had started a movement on February 5 after the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) sentenced Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Molla to life imprisonment that irked many in view of the 1971 war crimes charges against him.

Lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, Advocate Alauddin Molla and Abdur Rashid representing the bloggers during the hearing argued their clients had not written anything abusive about the Prophet. The lawyers alleged that though the state could file a case directly with a court under ICT laws, they did not do it.

"The bloggers will not flee if they get bail," the lawyers said. The bloggers' movement became popular as Ganajagaran Mancha with the participation of thousands of students and cultural activists. Chittagong-based radical group Hifazat-e Islam came out against Ganajagaran Mancha calling it a platform for 'atheist bloggers'.

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