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Bangladesh: Musician arrested over a music video allegedly mocking the prime minister

14 April 2021
Image: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina / Narendra Modi on Twitter

 

31 March 2021: Musician Rabiul Islam has been detained in Bangladesh under the Digital Security Act 2018 because he posted a music video on Facebook mocking Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and  Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, reported The Indian Express.

The music video created by the 19-year-old is not available now, but according to MENAFN, it depicted two prime ministers. Islam has been arrested under Section 17 of the Digital Security Act 2018, which, according to Dhaka Tribune, states that  “if one uses digital media to intimidate people or cause damage to the state”, will face up to 14 years in prison, Tk10 million (around 100,000 euros) fine or both.

Local police chief, Abdullah Al-Mamun initiated an investigation after a pro-government youth leader filed a complaint against the artist.

“He made an offensive music video using photos of Bangladeshi and Indian Prime Ministers and posted it on his Facebook timeline,” Al-Mamun said in his statement as The Indian Express reports.

The Digital Security Act 2018 was adopted in October 2018.

In January 2021, Freemuse, Drik, and PEN International have submitted a mid-term report in preparation for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Bangladesh in 2023. The report includes various recommendations to the Government of Bangladesh, including one on repealing the Digital Security Act.            

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