A Barishal court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea filed by poet and journalist Henry Sawpon, a day after he was arrested under controversial Digital Security Act.
Sawpon’s lawyer Obaidullah Saju said that the Barishal Metropolitan Magistrate’s court of Shamim Ahmed rejected the bail prayer as it was beyond the court’s jurisdiction to pass an order on such a matter.
Saju said that they would seek bail from the district judge court for Sawpon on Thursday.
Sawpon was arrested on Tuesday after a local priest accused him of hurting religious sentiment of people by posting a status on the Facebook.
In the status, Sawpon criticised the church and its priest for holding an entertainment programme on Easter Sunday a day after the devastating Sri Lanka church attack killing over a hundred people.
Barishal mayor Serniabad Sadik Abdullah told journalists on Wednesday that he was trying to negotiate the differences between Sawpon and the church.
Human rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra condemned the arrest of Henry Sawpon on Wednesday.
In a press release the ASK said that they feared that the law might have been subjected to misuse and it had become true.
The press release said that Henry Sawpon was also threatened with dire consequences if he did not leave Barishal for posting the status.
The ASK demanded immediate release of Sawpon and his security after release.
The ASK said that freedom of expression was required for flourishing democracy, establishing the rule of law and practicing human rights.
The church filed the case against Sawpon and two others on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Nipiraner Birudhe Shahbagh, a platform of writers, poet and cultural activists, demanded immediate release of Poet Henry Sawpon and lawyer Imtiaz Mahmud.
It held a rally in front of the National Museum in Dhaka on Wednesday late afternoon.
At the protest rally moderated by Poet Robin Ahsan the platform also demanded repeal of the Digital Security Act terming it a ‘black law’.
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