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Journalist arrested for allegedly publishing false information on Bangladesh poll results

Posted in S. Asia

Published on January 07, 2019 with No Comments

The Bangladesh Police has arrested a journalist for allegedly publishing “false information” about irregularities in Khulna constituency during the recently-held general elections in the country. An alliance led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League won more than 90% of parliamentary seats in the elections. Polliing in the 11th general elections was held on Sunday for 299 of the 300 parliamentary seats. Dozens of candidates had pulled out on the polling day, claiming rigging by the ruling party. Opposition parties in Bangladesh have rejected the poll results, alleging widespread rigging and voter intimidation.

According to reports, the number of votes cast in Khulna-1 was higher than the total number of voters in the constituency. However, an election officer had later said it was a mistake and a correction was issued. In the meantime, two media organisations had carried reports that said the number of votes cast was 22,000 more than the actual number of voters.

Batiaghata Upazila Nirbahi Officer Debashish Chowdhury filed a case under the Digital Security Act against Dhaka Tribune reporter Hedait Hossain Molla and Manab Zamin’s Rashidul Islam for the media reports. While Molla has been arrested, Islam is said to be absconding.According to the complaint, the accused had published false and fabricated information on the voting process, with the use of electronic devices, “which might confuse people and create a chaotic situation”. “This is false information that was made intentionally to make the election result look questionable and controversial,” the police is reported to have said.

 

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