Bangladesh arrests journalist over dead goat Facebook post

Dhaka - Bangladesh police on Tuesday arrested a journalist in the country's south for allegedly defaming a minister in a Facebook post about a dead goat.

Abdul Latif Morol, a reporter at a regional Bengali-language daily, was detained before dawn in the coastal town of Dumuria after a journalist from a rival newspaper filed a case under a draconian internet law.

"The complainant said Morol has defamed the state (junior) minister for fisheries and livestock, Narayan Chandra Chanda, after he made a derogatory post about him on Facebook," local police chief Sukumar Biswas told AFP.

Chanda was the chief guest at an event organised by the government's local livestock department, a part of his ministry, at Dumuria on Saturday.

At the event, livestock, including goats, chickens and ducks, were donated to poor farmers, but one of the donated goats later died, according to local media reports. That prompted Morol to write on Facebook: "Goat given by state minister in the morning dies in the evening," Biswas said.

The complainant alleged that Morol's post was aimed at "undermining" the minister "socially and personally" as he should have blamed the local livestock officials and not the minister.

In an interview with a local paper the plaintiff said he filed the complaint because he was a supporter of the nationally ruling Awami League. "We did not like the matter (the Facebook post)."

Rights groups have accused the Bangladesh government of using Section 57 of the Information and Communications Technology law - the law under which the current complaint was filed - to crack down on dissent and harass journalists.

Last month hundreds of journalists rallied in the capital Dhaka to demand a repeal of the controversial section after several journalists were detained and charged under it.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4343 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5249 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.03
-0.4%
Rand - Pound
19.22
+0.9%
Rand - Euro
17.38
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.70
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,636.76
-0.4%
Silver
18.57
-1.6%
Palladium
2,069.50
-0.2%
Platinum
859.00
+0.1%
Brent Crude
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,110
0.0%
All Share
63,417
0.0%
Resource 10
56,319
0.0%
Industrial 25
78,436
0.0%
Financial 15
14,142
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE