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Bangladesh pro-opposition editor released from jail

November 23, 2016

Prominent Bangladeshi pro-opposition newspaper editor Mahmudur Rahman was released on Wednesday after spending more than three years in jail on charges of sedition and inciting religious tension.

Rahman, 63, who faces charges in a multitude of cases from torching vehicles to a plot to kill the prime minister’s son, was arrested in April 2013 in the wake of a nationwide crackdown on the opposition.

“He was released today after he got bail in the last of his 78 cases,” Rahman’s lawyer Zainul Abedin Mesbah told AFP.

Rahman was the editor of mass circulated Bengali daily Amar Desh, which was shut down by the government.

He was accused of publishing false and derogatory information that incited religious tension in the Muslim-majority country after his daily published a series of reports accusing secular bloggers of Islamophobia.

His release came some two months after another prominent pro-opposition magazine editor Shafik Rehman was also freed from jail.

The 81-year-old British citizen was a former speechwriter for the main opposition leader — the current premier’s archrival — and was released spending nearly five months in jail.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.