Sunday, September 15, 2019

Bangladesh arrests poet for Facebook protest under digital security law

  • Barishal Correspondent
    Published: 2019-05-15 01:29:32 BdST


Police have arrested poet Henry Sawpon in a case started under the Digital Security Act.

Plainclothesmen arrested him at his home in Barishal City’s Choumatha on Tuesday.

A court later ordered him into jail, Kotwali Police Station OC Nurul Islam said.

Father Lawrence Laca Dalie Gomes, a catholic priest, started the case against Sawpon earlier in the day on charges of hurting religious sentiments. 

Syed Mehedi Hasan, organising secretary of local poets’ society Barishal Kabita Parishad, said Sawpon had condemned Bishop Lawrence Subrata Howlader of the catholic diocese in the district for continuing Easter Sunday celebrations a day after terror attacks killed over 250 in Sri Lanka on Apr 21.

“Bishop Subrata was playing flute when Rome was burning,” Sawpon wrote in a Facebook post on Apr 23, according to Mehedi.

Journalist Sushanta Ghose has protested against the arrest of Sawpon. “Everyone has the right to freedom of speech. And poet Henry Sawpon’s way of protest on social was reasonable,” he said.

Barishal Reporters Unity has issued a statement condemning the case against and arrest of Sawpon.

Sawpon, known for his works against social injustice, is among six free-thinking writers of Barishal who received death threat in 2015 amid deadly attacks on secular writers.