Thursday, February 20, 2014

An attempt to clamp down on critical commentary

An application has been made before the international crimes tribunal, seeking my conviction on grounds of contempt of court and the closure of this blog. It also seeks an order preventing me from writing anywhere in the world about the international crimes tribunal.

This is the key prayer to the tribunal
'To pass an order of stay or injunction restraining the opposite party to further display, publish, circulate any articles/comments in his personal blog in respect of war crimes tribunal and its preceding or in any other electronic of print media or in any worldwide website.'
The application is a serious attempt to clamp down on any critical commentary about the international crimes tribunal - even if it is polite, thoughtful, constructive and fair.

Out of over 840 posts on this blog, the application only criticises three - the most recent one of which was published over one year ago after which I have published over 200 further posts, none of which are criticized.

One of the posts criticized was published over two years ago!

I do hope that all those concerned about freedom of speech in Bangladesh - even if they do not necessarily agree with my commentary in the blog - do protest against the filing of this application, which seems simply to be a form of harassment. It is important that constructive and fair criticism of the tribunal is allowed to be published.

See the following discussion of the application against me in three previous blog posts
1. Initial thoughts on the contempt application - and what Bangladesh law says about right to criticise judicial rulings

2. A consideration of the substantive issues in the application: The numbers of 1971 war dead

3. A consideration of the substantive issues in the application: The trial of Kalam Azad

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