On 25 December 2020, film director Anonno Mamun and actor Shaheen Mridha have been charged with “making a film with pornographic content”. Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested the artists the day before due to a case filed against them under the Pornography Control Act for allegedly insulting the police in the film Nabab LLB, reported the Jakarta Post.
The film Nabab LLB was released on 16 December 2020 and is set in a fictional courtroom, treating about rape and the treatment of victims.
According to Al Jazeera, the report released by Dhaka Metropolitan Police points to “making and acting in a film containing such offensive and obscene dialogue” as a reason for the artists’ arrest. The report also highlights that the police was poorly represented in the film and that the representation of the police officer using “offensive gestures and obscene language” during the fictional interrogation in the film could cause “negative perceptions about policing among public.”
The Pornography Control Act provides provisions that criminalise acts relating to pornography such as talking, acting, gestures, and “nude or half-nude dance” deemed sexually arousing in films, videos, or still images. The law has been criticised for its broad definitions.
The petition calling on the Dhaka Metropolitan Police to drop all charges against Anonno Mamun and Shaheen Mridha has been circulated online. Sign the petition here.