April 2, 2013 - Updated on January 20, 2016

First arrests of bloggers after creation of anti-blasphemy committee

The Dhaka police Detective Branch last night arrested three bloggers – Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Mashiur Rahman Biplob and Rasel Parvez – for alleged posting “inflammatory” comments online on sensitive religious issues.

Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to release them at once and to stop persecuting news providers. The three bloggers are the first to be arrested since the creation of a government committee to combat online blasphemy on 13 March.

“The desire to restore calm does not justify persecuting non-religious bloggers, especially as these arrests, carried out on the pretext of combatting blasphemy, do not in any way guarantee an end to the tension and unrest linked to the current trial of former Islamist politicians for war crimes,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“The authorities must stop trying to appease the Islamist groups and instead protect the country’s citizens.”

Detective Branch spokesman Masudur Rahman told that the three bloggers were arrested in the Indira Road, Palashi and Monipuri Parha districts of Dhaka last night and that their laptop and personal computers were seized.

Shuvo was identified as a Dhaka University student by classmate Abdur Rahim, who said he was arrested at the Jagannath university dormitory for minorities by two men who arrived at the entrance in a white minibus at around 10:30 pm.

After several hours in police custody, a Dhaka court ordered them detained provisionally for seven days, the Daily Times reported.