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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Prothom Alo reporter Samsuzzaman Shams sent to jail

The court passed the order after denying bail in the case filed under DSA

Update : 30 Mar 2023, 05:10 PM

Prothom Alo reporter Samsuzzaman Shams has been sent to jail in a case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA) with Ramna police station over publishing a report on March 26.

Dhaka's Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Tofazzal Hossain passed the order after Shams was produced before the court by Abu Ansar, inspector of Ramna Model police station and investigation officer of the case.

The court also rejected Samsuzzaman's bail plea in the case. Samsuzzaman's lawyer Prashanta Kumar filed the bail petition.

A team of police took him to the court around 10:10am on Thursday in the case filed with Ramna police station. 

Prothom Alo Editor and Publisher Matiur Rahman, an unnamed assistant cameraman, and unnamed others were also sued in the same case.

A lawyer named Abdul Malek Mashiur Malek, 61, filed the case accusing them of using print, online, and electronic media to tarnish the image and reputation of the state, the first information report (FIR) of the case said.

The FIR mentioned that the accused spread falsehood on purpose to deteriorate law and order situation of the country.

The case was filed under the sections 25, 31 and 35 of the DSA.

Section 25 of the DSA criminalizes publishing or propagating “any information with the intention of tarnishing the image of the nation,” as well as knowingly publishing false or distorted information.

Section 31 refers to publishing or propagating in digital format any file that creates “hostility, hatred or adversity among people or destroys communal harmony or creates unrest or disorder or deteriorates or threatens to deteriorate law and order” in the country.

Section 35 covers aiding or abetting any of the offences listed under the act. 

Earlier, another case was filed against Samsuzzaman with Tejgaon police in the early hours of Wednesday.

On Wednesday, law enforcers picked him from his rented house in Ambagan area of Ashulia.

Controversy

Prothom Alo reporter Samsuzzaman Shams spoke to people including a child named Shobuj on March 25, on the eve of Independence Day, and submitted a report on people's suffering due to price hikes. The report was published on March 26.

The news drew criticism as the newspaper used the child's photo with a quote from a 40-year-old labourer named Zakir, identifying the child as Zakir and not Shobuj.

Prothom Alo withdrew the report within around half an hour and issued a correction later in the day, saying there was an inconsistency between the headline and the accompanying photo. Alongside the news item, the newspaper had also posted a poster on its social media handle.

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