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Bangladesh court accepts blasphemy charges against four bloggers


08:26, June 03, 2013

DHAKA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- A court in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka Sunday gave a go- ahead for the trial of four bloggers in two cases filed for posting "derogatory comments" about Islam and its holy prophet on the internet.

In April this year, police arrested the bloggers, Asif Mohiuddin, Moshiur Rahman Biplob, Subrata Adhikari Shuvo and Russel Parvez, on charge of hurting religious sentiments.

Judge Md Zahirul Haque of the Court of Metropolitan Sessions Judge took into cognizance the charges brought against the bloggers while fixed June 27 for starting hearing on charge framing against them.

Meanwhile, the court granted bail to Biplob but rejected Asif's bail petition. Asif and Biplob were arrested on April 3 and 2 respectively on the same charges.

Shuvo and Parvez, who were arrested on April 2, have been freed on bail on May 12.

Detective Branch of Bangladesh Police in April submitted probe reports against the bloggers, accusing them of hurting religious sentiments.

Since the death of blogger Ahmed Rajib, 35, who along with many others spearheaded Bangladesh's Shahbag Square movement, a series of blog posts described as anti-Islamic have circulated, although their authorship has so far remained unclear.

Blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was hacked to death near his home in Dhaka on Feb. 15.

Although the Shahbag protesters have already denied the blasphemy allegations brought against them and Haider, the like- minded Islamist parties and groups, including one Hefajat-e-Islam, have been continuing their movements to demand punishment for the bloggers and enact a new stricter anti-blasphemy law.

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