International

Bangladesh arrests Sufi singer after protests

more-in

Journalists and right activists say the Digital Security Act passed in 2018 is a serious threat to freedom of expression in the nation of 168 million people

A top Bangladeshi Sufi folk singer was arrested under a controversial internet law that critics say is used to stifle free speech after alleged anti-Islam comments triggered protests, police said Sunday. Shariat Sarker, 40, was detained in Mirzapur on Saturday.

“A cleric filed a case against Mr. Sarker over comments made at a show in December, and he was arrested under the Digital Security Act for hurting the religious sentiment of Muslims,” local police chief Saidur Rahman said.

Film of the show was uploaded to YouTube and more than 1,000 Muslim activists and clerics staged a rally to demand the singer's arrest. Mr. Sarker could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty at trial.

Journalists and right activists say the Digital Security Act passed in 2018 is a serious threat to freedom of expression in the nation of 168 million people.

Odhikar, a rights group, reported at least 29 arrests last year under the law.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:52:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bangladesh-arrests-sufi-singer-after-protests/article30551517.ece

Next Story