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Bangladeshi cartoonist arrested over COVID-19 criticisms

Bangladeshi cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore has been arrested for allegedly posting ‘anti-government messages’ on Facebook.

Kishore was detained in an early morning raid by the Rapid Action Battalion, Bangladesh’s anti-terrorism unit, alongside writer Mushtaq Ahmed, activist Didarul Islam Bhuiyan and another man. The Bangladeshi security forces say the men ran a Facebook page titled ‘I am Bangladeshi’ on which Kishore had posted several cartoons strongly critical of the government’s response to the COVID-a9 pandemic.

‘They were posting on Facebook about our Father of Nation, liberation war and spreading rumours over coronavirus pandemic. They had been damaging the image of the country and the government and were creating confusion among the people over the pandemic’ Monirul Islam, a police spokesperson based at the Ramna precinct in Dhaka, told the EFE press agency.

Speaking to Australian Associated Press, Bangladeshi human rights activist Nur Khan Liton said ‘Those who are vocal about public discontent, we have seen in many areas of the country many of them were sued under the digital security act. By doing so, the state is trying to create a climate of fear to suppress the public discontent.’

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