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Poet Henry Sawpon jailed in Digital Security Act case

  • Published at 07:51 pm May 14th, 2019
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File photo: Poet, columnist and journalist Henry Swapan being taken into custody by police Dhaka Tribune

Three days after he received life threat, local priest files case against him under Digital Security Act  

An eminent poet Henry Sawpon has been arrested and sent to jail in a case filed under the Digital Security Act accusing him of hurting religious sentiments.

Tuesday's arrest of the Barisal-based poet Henry came at a time when local police had allegedly refused to accept a general diary the poet wanted to lodge after receiving life threats from some unknown people on Saturday last.

Barisal Kotwali police arrested him from his residence in the Goal Pukur Christian community area and sent him to jail after producing before the Metropolitan Magistrate court.

Barisal Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shahabuddin Khan said a priest of the local Catholic Church filed an allegation against Henry for hurting religious sentiments of the Christian and Muslim communities.

Sub Inspector Al Mamun, investigation officer of the case, said: The priest of the local Catholic Church, as complainant, lodged the case under the Digital Security Act against three accused, including Henry, and they are searching for other two.

The case was accepted and accused was arrested after the police found the allegations brought against him ‘true’ in a primary investigation, he claimed.

Before being arrested Henry Sawpon, however, told journalists that he gave a status in social media condemning arranging of a cultural function on Easter Sunday in a local Catholic Church at a time when many people were killed in series of terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. 

“Some people threatened me to leave Barisal immediately and when I tried to lodge a general diary (GD) with Kotwali police station, police refused to register the GD.” said Henry.

Local journalist community including the Barisal Reporters Unity, Journalist Union and cultural activists under banner of the Barisal Sangskritik Sangothan Samonya Parishad, condemned the arrest, brought out protest procession and held a meeting demanding immediate release of Henry Sawpon and withdrawal of the case.  

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