November 12, 2009

Another Travesty of Justice

Another travesty of justice happened in Bangladesh today. After cartoonist Arif was acquitted by a higher court last year, a lower court in Jessore finds him guilty.


A Jessore court has handed down two months of rigorous imprisonment to cartoonist Arifur Rahman of satire magazine Alpin, a weekly publication of the daily Prothom Alo.

The verdict was given in the case regarding publication of sacrilegious cartoon in the magazine in Sep 2007.

"Arif is at large. The verdict was given in his absence," his lawyer Alamgir Siddiqi told

However, Arif told that he knew nothing about this case.

He said treason and blasphemy cases against him have been dismissed in court.

The case was filed by ATM Shoaib, the imam of the Jessore Collectorate Mosque, at the Executive Magistrate's Court on Oct 23, 2007. The case alleged that the irreverent cartoon on prophet Hazrat Muhammad had hurt religious feelings.

Prothom Alo publisher Mahfuz Anam, editor Motiur Rahman and Arif were accused in the case. Later, the court issued arrest warrant only against Arif.

This shows that there is no coordination between trials in the courts of Bangladesh. And how can the court finishes the trial without the presence of the accused? Why is he deemed absconding from law when he knows nothing about the case. He also worked for government after he was released (read his interview).

Arif needs legal support now. Is there anybody in Dhaka who can help him?


* Bangladesh: yet another Muhammad cartoon controversy
* Attack against freedom of speech: Bangladesh cartoon controversy update
* Cartoonist arrested over harmless play on name Mohammed.
* One Arifur Rahman and his fight against corruption
* Muhammad cat: Clerical Hypocrisy
* Free Arifur Rahman - an update
* Court orders release of Arifur Rahman
* Interview with Arif


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