Bangladesh news­pa­per head con­victed for crit­i­ciz­ing judge

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Bangladesh’s top court on Thurs­day con­victed a pub­lisher of a lead­ing news­pa­per of con­tempt of court for crit­i­ciz­ing a judge, in the latest case against the coun­try’s media.

Atiqul­lah Khan Ma­sud and his deputy were fined taka 10,000 (US$125) each for the ar­ti­cle crit­i­ciz­ing the un­named judge for speak­ing with the fam­ily of an op­po­si­tion leader ap­peal­ing against his death sen­tence for war crimes.

“Free­dom of speech does not nec­es­sar­ily mean talk­ing with­out any bri­dle,” At­tor­ney Gen­eral Mah­bubey Alam told re­porters af­ter the Supreme Court’s rul­ing.

“There are many ways of prac­tic­ing re­spon­si­ble jour­nal­ism that wouldn’t hurt the court but would con­vey the mes­sage,” he said.

The ar­ti­cle was pub­lished in July, days be­fore a panel of four judges dis­missed Salaud­din Quader Chowd­hury’s ap­peal against the death sen­tence for crimes com­mit­ted dur­ing Bangladesh’s 1971 war of in­de­pen­dence.

In the ar­ti­cle, Ben­gali na­tional daily news­pa­per Janakan­tha ques­tioned whether it was eth­i­cal or com­mon prac­tice for judges to speak with ap­pel­lants’ fam­i­lies out­side of court.

The main op­po­si­tion Bangladesh Na­tion­al­ist Party has claimed Chowd­hury’s orig­i­nal con­vic­tion by a tri­bunal was in­flu­enced by the gov­ern­ment and was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

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