The city mayor had sued him for publishing ‘false and baseless’ reports
Journalist Abu Tayyab, the district bureau chief of private TV channel NTV, has been released from jail after he secured bail from the High Court in a Digital Security Act (DSA) case.
His lawyer Akter Jahan Ruku, confirming the development, said Tayyab walked out of Khulna jail around 5pm on Wednesday, three weeks after his arrest in the case the Khulna city mayor had filed.
“After we filed a petition seeking his bail, the High Court had granted him bail and ordered his release on May 5. But the order reached the Khulna jail authorities Wednesday,” the lawyer said.
Earlier, Khulna Metropolitan Sessions Judge Shahidul Islam rejected a bail plea on April 28 and Khulna Metropolitan Magistrate Tariqul Islam did the same on April 22.
On the night of April 20, police arrested Tayyab from his home in the city’s Nurnagar, two days after Khulna City Corporation Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleq filed the case.
According to the case statement, Tayyab defamed Khaleq, also the president of ruling Awami League's city unit, by sharing several “false” and “baseless” reports on social media. The reports had alleged that the mayor was involved in corruption and irregularities.
Most cases filed under the DSA have been controversial as critics allege that the law is being used as a tool to silence any dissent, by journalists and others unearthing corruption or other criminal acts.
In a statement recently, rights organization ARTICLE 19 had expressed deep concern over the widespread filing of cases and arrests of journalists under the DSA across Bangladesh for writing reports on corruption and posting opinions on social media.
At least 38 DSA cases were filed in the first three months this year, and among the accused, five were journalists, according to ARTICLE 19, which in the statement had also mentioned Tayyab’s arrest.