DHAKA – Bangladesh police arrested a journalist under the controversial anti-propaganda law and are looking for another one on allegations of publishing “fake” information about the elections held at the weekend, official sources told EFE on Wednesday.
Journalist Hedayet Hossain Mollah, a Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune correspondent, was arrested on Tuesday evening in Khulna district after local administration chief filed a case against him, the officer-in-charge of the local police, Mahbubur Rahman, told EFE.
“He gave fake information about election. He reported 22,419 more votes were cast than the total numbers of vote (in Khulna -1 constituency),” said Rahman. “This serious misinformation put us in an embarrassing situation.”
The Khulna administration chief also filed a case against Bengali newspaper Manabjamin’s Khulna correspondent Rashidul Islam, who is currently on the run.
Both had cases filed against them under the controversial Digital Security Act, which provides jail sentences for publishing “propaganda” against the state and “spreading rumors” and also has provisions of life imprisonment for revealing state secrets and publishing “false or distorted” information.
The law, enacted in September has been criticized by media workers, who believe that it puts freedom of the press and expression at risk.
The law came into effect just three months before the general election that took place in Bangladesh over the weekend, in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the ruling Awami League party and its allies bagged 288 seats out of 300 for a third consecutive term in office.