The High Court on Wednesday granted four weeks’ anticipatory bail to Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, editor-in-chief of vernacular daily Manabzamin, in a case filed against him under the Digital Security Act for publishing a report on crimes of expelled Juba Mahila League leader Shamima Nur Papiya.
Ruling Awami League lawmaker for Magura 1 Saifuzzaman Shikhor filed the case against Matiur Rahman Chowdhury and 31 others with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station on March 9.
Shikhor alleged in the case that the report published on March 2 under the headline of ‘Papiyar Mukhe Amla, MP, Byabasayi Saha Tirish Janer Nam (Papiya names 30 including bureaucrats, MPs and businessmen)’ contained false information and the accused people defamed him by sharing it on social media.
A vacation bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Md Riaz Uddin Khan granted the bail after Matiur Rahman Chowdhury appeared before the court seeking bail.
Supreme Court lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua moved the bail application.
Earlier, Matiur Rahman Chowdhury told New Age that he was surprised at filing of the case for a report which did not have any specific mention of Awami League lawmaker Saifuzzaman Shikhor.
The other accused include Al Amin, a staff reporter of the daily who wrote the story, and some people who shared the news on social media.
The Amnesty International in a statement called on Bangladesh government to maintain restraint on further actions against the Manabzamin editor and 31 others and drop the case filed against them immediately.
The Editors’ Council had also in a statement expressed its grave concern about the case against the editor-in-chief of the daily Manabzamin and 31 others under the Digital Security Act for publishing a news concerning the arrested Juba Mahila League leader Shamima Nur Papia.
It had demanded immediate withdrawal of the case, said the statement issued by Editors’ Council president Mahfuz Anam and its secretary general Naem Nizam.
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