Police following up on a tip-off visited Shariful Islam’s home at Maizdi, 150 kilometres south of Dhaka, and found the doctored pictures of the PM on his computer, local police chief Chowdhury Abul Kalam said.
“We asked him to open his Facebook page. On the page, the face of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was pasted with that of a half-naked woman,” he said. Islam, an owner of an advertising firm, also “doctored the pictures of the home minister and some other ministers”, Kalam said, adding that the accused faced up to 10 years in jail if found guilty on defamation charges.
Bangladesh authorities have launched a series of prosecutions this year over material on Facebook pages aimed at Hasina. Last month, a student was charged with sedition after he posted comments on Facebook linking Hasina with the disappearance of an opposition leader. In January, police detained Al Nayeem Jubaer for posting obscene remarks about Hasina’s father, the nation’s founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on the social networking site.
Also that month, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man was sentenced in absentia to six months in jail after posting a Facebook message that appeared to wish for the Prime Minister to die in a car accident.