Bangladesh teen held for ‘offensive music video’ mocking Modi, Hasina


A teen in Bangladesh has been arrested for making a music video mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, information company AFP reported.

Rabiul Islam, 19, was arrested on Wednesday in a northern city based mostly on a grievance by a pro-government youth chief below the stringent Digital Security Act, AFP quoted native police chief Abdullah Al-Mamun as saying.

“He made an offensive music video using photos of Bangladeshi and Indian prime ministers and posted it on his Facebook timeline,” Al-Mamun mentioned.

Islam faces as much as 14 years in jail below the mentioned Act and is predicted to be charged with “defaming and tarnishing the image of the head of government”.

The teenager’s arrest comes days after hardline teams launched large-scale protests in opposition to PM Modi’s go to to Bangladesh to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its attaining nationhood. Over a dozen folks had been killed within the clashes and the unconventional teams additionally attacked Hindu temples within the nation.

Islamist teams accuse Modi of discriminating in opposition to minority Muslims in Hindu-majority India.

What is Digital Security Act, 2018?

Islam’s arrest has been made below the Digital Security Act of 2018, which was introduced rather than the controversial Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act of 2006.

The ICT Act granted regulation enforcers the correct to arrest any individual with no warrant for as much as 14 years. Between 2012-18, over a thousand folks had been arrested below the ICT Act, in accordance with a report by DW.

After widespread criticism, the regulation was changed with the DSA, which the federal government claimed would finish arbitrary arrests. But most of the ICT Act’s provisions had been reproduced in several kinds within the new regulation.

Hundreds of individuals have been arrested since 2018 below the Act for alleged crimes that embody smearing the picture of the prime minister and different political figures.

Section 21 of the DSA authorises life imprisonment, together with a hefty effective, for partaking in “propaganda” or a “campaign” in opposition to the “spirit of the liberation War”, “father of the nation”, the “national anthem” or “national flag”.

Section 25 of the Act offers particular safety to the state, and thus could also be used to ban or punish reliable political expression.

International organisations similar to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have spoken in opposition to the brand new digital regulation, saying it has tightened the federal government’s chokehold on free speech.

The new regulation additionally prohibits efficient investigative journalism, Bangladesh’s Editors’ Council, an affiliation of newspaper editors, has mentioned.

In March, widespread protests happened within the nation over the demise of author Mushtaq Ahmed in detention, who was arrested below DSA for publishing an article and sharing Facebook posts essential of Hasina’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic.


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