Khadijatul Kubra, a student of Jagannath University (JnU) who was released from Kashimpur central jail securing bail in two DSA cases on Monday (November 20, 2023) morning, sat for an examination shortly after her release. Khadija was released from Kashimpur Women's Prison at 9 am on Monday and went directly to Jagannath University to take part in the semester final exam. Although the exam started at 10 o'clock, she entered the hall at 11:30 am. She sat the exam in the fourth semester with two semesters lost. Her elder sister Sirajum Monira said, "We came to the prison early in the morning. Then Khadija was released at 9 am. Khadija's semester final exam starts today that's why we came early in the morning." Read: No bar to release JnU student Khadija from jail as SC upholds HC bail Earlier, Khadija secured bail last Thursday. The bail order reached the jail authorities on Sunday evening. Despite waiting a long time on Sunday, her relatives had to return without her because she was not given the permission to release. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday upheld a High Court (HC) order that granted bail her in two cases under the Digital Security Act (DSA) in 2020. In October 2020, police filed two cases against Khadija and retired Maj Delowar Hossain at the Kalabagan and New Market Police Stations for 'spreading anti-government propaganda and harming Bangladesh's reputation.' Read: Rally held to demand release of Khadijatul Kobra The allegations in the two cases filed a week apart, were similar. Police arrested Khadija on September 17, 2022. She had been in jail since then. According to the case details, Khadija and Delowar conspired to broadcast false, fabricated, and defamatory propaganda about the Prime Minister, various government agencies, and senior state officials in order to oust the country's legitimate administration. They were aiming to destroy communal harmony through their conspiracy by promoting enmity, hatred, and division among various communities, it said. Read: Students demand release of JnU student Khadija Khadija was 17 when the cases were filed under the Digital Security Act in 2020, but the case was filed showing her as an adult, according to her lawyer. Despite having kidney disease, Khadija's bail petitions were repeatedly denied by a Dhaka court. On February 23 this year, Khadija was granted bail by the HC in the cases. The state filed a petition challenging the bail. On July 10 of the year, the Appellate Division suspended the bail of Kubra for four months in two cases. During the hearing, Khadija's lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua argued that she was not accountable for the opinions expressed by guests in videos on her YouTube channel. Read more: JnU student Khadija’s bail suspended for 4 months in DSA cases
BNP has alleged that its leaders and workers in jails are facing a humanitarian crisis as the prison wards are already overcrowded, filled with over four times their usual capacity thanks to ongoing wholesale arrest. Speaking at a virtual press briefing on Monday, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also said the government is concocting 'stories of arson violence' against the BNP to blemish its 'peaceful' movement and to arrest more opposition leaders and workers. “The prisons are witnessing a humanitarian disaster. Lawyers and relatives are unable to know where the leaders and workers sent to Keraniganj jail are being taken away. The leaders and workers have been kept in heavily packed wards of each building inside the prison,” he said. BNP postpones usual programme to mark Nov 7 The BNP leader said 40/50 prisoners are being kept in each ward, which cannot even accommodate more than 10/15 inmates. “Even, the imprisoned BNP leaders and workers are not allowed to go out their wards both during the day and night,” he said. Rizvi also alleged that the jailed opposition leaders and workers are being subjected to repression due to the political vendetta of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He also said more than 275 BNP leaders and activists were arrested across the country in the last 24 hours as of 4:30 pm Monday while nine more fresh cases were filed accusing 995 opposition followers. BNP, like-minded parties to enforce 48-hour fresh blockade from Wednesday The BNP leader claimed that law enforcers are daily raiding the houses of opposition leaders and workers to arrest them. Besides, he alleged that the government started a game of torching vehicles to put the blame on the BNP and thus suppress the ongoing movement for the restoration of people’s voting rights. “There’re countless proofs of which are now in the hands of people.” He said there is a video showing those who set fire to the bus running into the Awami League office. “Such scenes are seen every day in various incidents. The story of arson attacks against BNP is being cooked up and propagated only to tarnish the peaceful movement for democratic rights.” BNP’s like-minded parties announce fresh 48-hour blockade from Wednesday He said camera persons of some pro-government TV stations remain present where vehicles are torched. “It’s an indication to easily understand that arson attacks are part of a master plan.” Rizvi, however, urged the party leaders and workers to take to the streets peacefully during their blockade programme without responding to any provocation.
A Dhaka court on Sunday (October 8, 2023) sentenced disgraced director of International Leasing and Finance Service Ltd (ILFSL) Proshanto Kumar Halder, also known as PK Halder to 22 years’ of imprisonment in a case over amassing wealth and money laundering. Thirteen other accused in the case were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment each. Judge of Dhaka Special Judge Court-10 Mohammad Nazrul Islam delivered the judgment. The 13 convicts included Sukumar Mridha, Anindita Mridha, Avantika Baral, Shankh Bepari, PK Halder's mother Lilavati Halder, Purnima Rani Halder, Uttam Kumar Mistri, Amitabh Adhikari, Pritish Kumar Halder, Rajib Som, Subrata Das, Anang Mohan Roy and Swapan Kumar Mistri. Read: Court fixes October 8 to deliver verdict in graft case against PK Halder, 13 others Of them, Sukumar Mridha, Anindita Mridha, Avantika Baral and Shankh Bepari were present on the dock during the delivery of the judgment. Earlier on October 4, the court set October 8 for delivering verdict upon ending arguments from the both the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the defendants. Mamunur Rashid Chowdhury, assistant director of Dhaka Integrated District Office of the ACC, filed the case against PK Haldar for acquiring around Tk 275 crore illegally on January 8, 2020. According to the case statement, PK Halder acquired wealth worth almost Tk 275 crore beyond known sources of income through illegal activities and kept them in his possession. Read: India to hand over PK Halder to Bangladesh? The ACC investigated the case and submitted a charge sheet to the court. In the charge sheet, the anti-graft watchdog accused Halder of laundering CAD 1.17 crore to Canada through illegal means. A Dhaka court framed charges against the accused on September 8, 2021. On May 13 this year, India's federal economic offences police arrested PK Halder and his two associates from the eastern state of West Bengal. He is now in an Indian jail. Read more:Trial of graft case against PK Halder begins
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s jail term suspension will have to be revoked first and she needs to go to jail again if she wants to go abroad for treatment. She said this during an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA) aired on Saturday (September 30, 2023). The prime minister, now on a visit to the US, responded to a number of questions on US Visa sanction, human rights, Khaleda’s treatment abroad, caretaker government, the constitution and other issues. Khaleda Zia has been kept captive to remain in power: Fakhrul When asked about the possibility of reconsidering the decision to send Khaleda abroad for improved medical care, she said, “My question is, which country in the world can send a convicted criminal abroad for better treatment? Will any country allow it?” “If they want to apply, they have to go to the court and take court permission. We have no authority over work of the judiciary," she stated. Khaleda Zia again moved to CCU from cabin at Evercare Hospital “But yes, we have suspended her jail term, given permission to stay at home. And she is taking treatment now in the most expensive hospital in Bangladesh. If they need to go abroad, the permission to stay at home would first need to be revoked, she will need to return to prison again, and court. Only after obtaining court permission could she travel abroad,” she said. Khaleda under close observation of medical board; no improvement, say doctors
Sixteen Bangladeshi youths returned home on Sunday night from India through the Benapole check post after serving three years in an Indian prison. Benapole Immigration OC Mohammad Kamruzzaman said the youths went to India without valid documents through human traffickers and then were detained by police while they were working at various shops and hotels in Tamil Nadu state. Read: 3 siblings jailed unto death for killing youth in Chattogram Later they were handed over to a court which sentenced them to three years of imprisonment. At the end of the sentence, the ministries of home affairs of the two countries took initiative to send them back to Bangladesh. The Indian immigration police handed them over to Benapole Port Police Station and NGO ‘Justice and Care’ received them. Read: Cumilla couple jailed for ten years in drug case The returnees are Bulbul Ahmed,18, Mohsin Sheikh ,17, Abul Hossain ,16, Masum Billah 15, Rezaul Khan 18, Shahjalal 17, Hasan Halder 17, Nazmul Islam 17, Masud Talukder 18, Zulhas Sheikh 18, Rashed Morel 17, Rashedul Islam 18, Saiduzzaman 16, Abu Musa 15, Mizanur Rahman,17 and Mahbul Shikder 17. They hail from different areas of Satkhira, Khulna and Madaripur districts.
A Sylhet court on Sunday sent a former inspector of Nabiganj Police Station to jail, in a case filed over torturing his wife for dowry. Manikul Islam, who had been absconding for a period of almost six years since the incident, was posted at Nabiganj as police inspector back in 2017. Sylhet Additional District and Session Judge Mizanur Rahman Bhuiya passed the order after rejecting his bail petition in the case. MoFA official lands in Madaripur jail in case of dowry and torture filed by wife Earlier, in the day, Manikul, who remained absconding for a long time, surrendered before the court as it issued an arrest warrant against him. According to the prosecution, Manikul got married to a Bangladeshi expatriate in Canada after providing false information in September 2014. Later, he put pressure on his wife to take him to Canada. Later, she, a physician by profession, managed a visa for Manikul. BNP leader dies at DMCH after falling ill in central jail But by then, Manikul refused to go to Canada and instead demanded Tk 50 lakh from his wife. On June 18, 2017, when the wife returned home from Canada, he picked her up saying he would drop her at her parents house. Later he again demanded Tk 50 lakh. When the victim refused to provide the money, Maniqul hit her with the wireless and mobile phone sets on the face of the victim and hit her with the shoe at the moving vehicle. At one stage, Manikul also snatched away the passport of the victim, credit card, five tolas of gold and 5,000 Canadian dollars. Youth jailed for 5 years for posting obscene photos of woman on social media in Laxmipur When the vehicle reached Aushkandi Hiraganj on Dhaka-Sylhet highway, Manikul tried to strangle the victim. Hearing screams, local people intercepted the vehicle and took the victim to a local hospital. Manikul fled from the scene. After recovering, the wife filed a case.
A Chattogram court on Tuesday sentenced a former commander of banned militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 20 years imprisonment in two cases filed over the Explosives Substances Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act. The convict was Ershad Hossain alias Mamun, son of Riazul Islam of Dinajpur district. Judge of the Chattogram Additional Session Judge Court-4, Shariful Alam Bhuiya announced the verdict. The court also fined him Tk 20,000 and if he failed to pay the money he will be jailed for one year more. According to the prosecution, police arrested Ershad from a house in Akbar Shah area and seized some explosives, bomb making materials and some books from his possession on March 23, 2015. Sub-inspector of Akbar Shah Police Station, Shahidur Rahman filed two separate cases against him under the Explosives Substance Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act. On April 8, 2016, police submitted chargesheets against him in the two cases. The court also acquitted three persons—Bulbul Ahmed Sarkar alias Fuad, 26, Md Sujon, 24 and Mahabubur Rahman alias Khokon, 35—as allegations brought against them could not be proved.
A Dhaka court on Tuesday (May 09, 2023) sentenced Mohammad Rabiul Islam alias Arav Khan, a Dubai-based gold dealer, to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment in an arms case filed in January 2015. Judge Murshid Ahmed of Dhaka Metro Special Tribunal-14 passed the order this noon, in absence of Arav Khan. In addition to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment, Arav Khan was sentenced to a fine of Tk 10,000, in default of which he will have to serve another three months' imprisonment. Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) AKM Salahuddin confirmed the development. Read: Inspector Mamun murder case: 4 testify against Arav Khan, 7 others Earlier, on March 28, the court heard the testimonies of 10, out of 20, witnesses. Arav Khan could not claim his innocence as he was absconding. According to the prosecution, Arav Khan was arrested in January 2015, with a loaded revolver from Dhaka's Moghbazar area as he went to his father-in-law Sekendar Ali’s house to collect money at gunpoint. On the same day, Sujan Kumar Kundu, the then Sub-inspector of DB West's Car Theft Prevention and Rescue Team, filed a case against Arav Khan with Ramna Model Police Station under arms act. DB Police Sub-inspector Sheikh Hasan Mohammad Mostafa Sarwar, also the investigating officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet against Arav Khan to the court on March 1, 2015. The tribunal framed charges against him on May 10. Read: Hero Alam ready to help DB find Arav He was granted bail in the case on March 14, 2018. The court issued an arrest warrant against Arav Khan on October 24, 2018 declaring him as "fugitive".
China was the biggest global jailer of journalists last year with more than 100 behind bars, according to a press freedom group, as President Xi Jinping’s government tightened control over society. Xi's government also was one of the biggest exporters of propaganda content, according to Reporters without Boarders. China ranked second to last on the group’s annual index of press freedom, behind only neighbor North Korea. The ruling Communist Party has tightened already strict controls on media in China, where all newspapers and broadcasters are state-owned. Websites and social media are required to enforce censorship that bans material that might spread opposition to one-party rule. Also Read: Chinese who reported on COVID to be released after 3 years Xi, China’s most powerful figure in decades, called during a 2016 meeting with journalists who had been awarded official prizes for them to adhere to “the correct orientation of public opinion." Xi is pursuing a “crusade against journalism,” Reporters Without Borders said in a report Wednesday. It called China's decline in press freedom “disastrous.” Beijing operates what is regarded as the world's most extensive system of internet controls. Its filters try to block the Chinese public from seeing websites abroad operated by news outlets, governments and human rights and other activist groups. Chinese journalists have been prosecuted on charges of spying, leaking national secrets and picking quarrels, a vague accusation used to jail dissidents. Others are subjected to surveillance, intimidation and harassment. Also Read: China's foreign minister makes rare visit to Myanmar border Journalist Dong Yuyu, who worked at a ruling party-affiliated newspaper and is a former Harvard University fellow, faces espionage charges after being detained for more than one year, his family said last week. In 2022, Chinese-born Australian journalist Cheng Lei was tried in China on national security charges but has yet to learn the verdict, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in March. Cheng worked for CGTN, the English-language state TV channel aimed at foreign audiences. She was detained in August 2019 and accused of sharing state secrets. In Hong Kong, the Communist Party forced a prominent newspaper, Apple Daily, to shut down as part of a crackdown on pro-democracy sentiment. Apple Daily's founder, Jimmy Lai, was convicted of fraud last year that his supporters said were politically motivated. Six other former executives of the newspaper pleaded guilty.
A Dhaka court on Thursday (March 30, 2023) sent Prothom Alo reporter Shamsuzzaman Shams to jail in a case filed under the Digital Security Act after rejecting his bail petition. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Dhaka Md Tofazzal Hossain turned down the bail petition. Earlier, Ramna Model Police Station Inspector Abu Ansar, also investigating officer of the case, requested the court for sending him to jail when Shams was produced before the court. Read More: CID arrested Prothom Alo journalist Shamsuzzan in a case: Home Minister Proshanto Kumar Karmakar, lawyer of Shamsuzzaman, appeared for the bail plea. On March 29, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) men in plainclothes picked up Shams from his residence in Ambagan area, adjacent to Jahangirnagar University, around 4:30 am. The same day, a Jubo League leader filed a case under the Digital Security Act against Shams, accusing him of publishing a "false and fabricated report" in the daily Prothom Alo. Read More: Prothom Alo journalist Shams taken to court