DHAKA: Four Bangla-deshi bloggers are facing up to seven years in jail after they were charged in court yesterday with defaming Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), a prosecutor told said.
The four men, who deny the charges, were arrested earlier this year in the wake of nationwide protests in which Islamic groups demanded the execution of atheist online commentators.
Judge Zahirul Haque, sitting in a court here, said the bloggers were being charged under the country’s Internet laws, senior public prosecutor Shah Alam Talukdar said.
“They have been indicted... with defaming Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other religions through their Internet writings. They spread malice against all religions,” he said.
Talukdar said if found guilty the bloggers, who are free on bail, could be sentenced to seven years in jail under the country’s ICT laws. “All four have claimed to be atheists,” he added.
Rights groups have called on the government to drop the charges against the bloggers, saying the men are caught in the battle between Islamists and the secular government.