Lifestyle & Belief

Bangladesh man sentenced to six months in prison for Facebook status


A Bangladeshi man was sentenced to six months in prison after comments he made about the prime minister on Facebook.


Saeed Khan

A Bangladeshi university professor was sentenced to six months in jail due to a Facebook status he made about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the BBC reported.

Last year Ruhul Khandakar posted a status implying he wanted the prime minister to die, according to high court officials. Khandakar was found guilty in absentia of contempt of court after staying in Australia, because he is studying there, despite a court summons, the BBC reported.

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Khandakar posted the status after the death of Bangladesh’s famous filmmaker Tareq Masud in a road accident, the AFP reported. Like Khandakar, many Bangladeshis were in shock following his death. His comment on Facebook was related to the incident, as well as Bangladesh’s high road fatality rate.

"Tareq Masud died as a result of government giving license to unqualified drivers. Many die, why does not Sheikh Hasina die?" the status said, according to court officials, the AFP reported.

The status was posted by Khandakar in Australia, but has been deleted since then. When the media caught wind of the comment, protests by Hasina’s supporters broke out, the BBC reported.

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In August, he was summoned to appear in court and explain the comments but he repeatedly failed to show up, the AFP reported. The court has now directed Khandakar’s university employers to take action by firing him.