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Mar 27

Judge fails to stand up for justice, dismisses defamation case against bloggers at Barishal

The judicial system in Bangladesh has delivered yet another judgement. A judgement of complicity, not a judgement of conscience. A judgement of not delivering justice. For the second time running, of court of the judicial system in Bangladesh has dismissed a defamation case filed against bloggers who are alleged to have written blogs and posts on social media that defamed Islam, Allah (SWT) and his final prophet Mohammad (SAW). After a court dismissed a case against 8 bloggers for hurting religious sentiment and Islam defamation at Chittagong on the 6th of March, another court at Barisal did the same today, on the 27th of March.
As reported by UNBconnect, a Barisal court on Wednesday dismissed a blasphemy case filed against eight bloggers, including Shahbagh Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarkar. Chief Judicial Magistrate Masudur Rahman passed the order, saying the allegation brought against them was not proved by evidence, said court sources. The other accused in the case were bloggers Asif Mohiuddin, Arifur Rahman, Omi Rahman Piyal, Arif Jebtik, Ibrahim Khalil, KM Mahdi Hasan and Biplob.
Earlier on Monday, the 25th of March, Advocate Sultan Ahmed Khan, a leader of BNP-backed Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, filed the case with the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court under Sections 295 (Ka) and 109 of the Penal Code. After hearing, Judge Masudur Rahman fixed Wednesday for passing an order in this regard.
The complainant had said he lodged the case as the accused intentionally hurt his and others’ religious sentiments by defaming the ideology of Islam, Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM), his family members and followers.
Imran, also Bloggers and Online Network Activists convener, was leading the blasphemy activities whereas his grandfather was executed by the liberation forces as a collaborator of the Pakistani occupation forces, Sultan had told the court. 
This mentality is reminiscent of a complicity that can only be explained by a judicial system plagued by politics. Had the judiciary attended to the case, the country could have been purged of the plague of malign atheism. The bloggers could have even been proved innocent through a fair trial. But rejecting a credible case on supposed grounds of ‘lack of evidence’ leaves a lot of room for speculation and speaks of complicity bordering on the verge of absurdity and cowardice.
 
Compare this character to the heartless face shown by the courts against opposition activists, allowing police to even take schoolchildren and female activists on multiple instances remand to ‘extract’ information, and you will have a fair knowledge on where the country is heading towards in terms of looking up to judiciary as the protector of human rights. The failure of the justice department to stand up for truth and justice has left the common citizen without any guardian or guarantor of his rights. Consequently he stands up for his rights and demonstrates for them, Police, protector of ‘public property’, arrest the citizen and the courts are only too happy to give the police all the support they need. The cycle continues; vicious, relentless, ruthless.