Bangladesh Christian poet arrested over writing on priests

Our Correspondent . Barishal | Published: 21:04, May 14,2019 | Updated: 01:00, May 15,2019

 
 

Police take poet Henry Sawpon, centre in a striped T-shirt, to jail after a Barishal court sent him to jail in a case filed under digital security act on Tuesday.-- New Age photo

Poet, columnist and journalist Henry Sawpon was arrested by the Barishal police in a case filed under Digital Security Act over his Facebook status criticising a programme of a local church.
Police arrested him from his house at Goal Pukur Christian community area on Tuesday afternoon and placed him before a metropolitan magistrate court that sent him to jail.
Barishal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shahabuddin Khan said a priest of a local Catholic church filed a complaint against Henry for hurting religious sentiment of Christian and even Muslim communities through social media.
After finding facts about the allegations in primary investigation, the case was accepted and accused was arrested under the Digital Security Act, he added.
Police sub-inspector Al Mamun of Kotwali police station, investigation officer of the case, said Reverend Lackbali Gomes, priest of local Catholic Church, as complainant lodged the case under sections of 28, 29 and 31 of the law against three accused, including Henry.
Police arrested him and trying to arrest two others, Mamun said.
Before getting arrested, Henry Sawpon told reporters that he gave a status in social media condemning performing cultural function on Easter Sunday in local Catholic Church, while many people were killed by the terrorists on the same day in Church and Hotels of Sri Lanka.
After that some people of Christian Community became annoyed with him and complained to the police commissioner, he added.
‘Some miscreants threatened me with deaths and asked me to leave Barishal immediately. While I tried to lodge a general diary with the Kotwali police station, police did not register that,’ Henry added.
Local journalist community including Barishal Reporters’ Unity, Journalist Union and cultural activists under banner of Barishal Sangskritik Sangothan Samonya Parishad, condemned the arrest, held agitation, brought out procession and called on the authorities concerned to withdraw the case.

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