A Bangladeshi university lecturer has been sentenced to six months in prison for insulting the country’s Prime Minister on his Facebook account, according to reports.
Ruhul Khandakar was convicted in absentia after failing to return to Bangladesh from Australia following a summons to appear before the high court in Dhaka.
Court officials said that Khandakar posted comments on his Facebook account suggesting that he wanted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina dead – remarks that outraged her supporters, who brought the matter to the attention of the authorities.
Reportedly, after prominent Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareq Masud died in a traffic accident in August 2011, Khandakar blamed the death on the government for failing to deal with the nation’s high fatality rates on its roads.
Tareq Masud died as a result of [the] government giving license to unqualified drivers. Many die, why does not Sheikh Hasina die? Khandakar wrote, according to court officials.
Apparently, he composed the post from Australia, where he is currently studying.
The court also requested that Khandakar’s employer, Jahangirnagar University, take action against him.
Ironically, Bangladesh has been making moves to expand internet service in the country. Last October, the Dhaka government announced that they will provide cheap laptop computers to millions of people in the poverty-stricken nation.
Sheikh Hasina, president of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League, is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father and first president of Bangladesh.