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Opposition editor released after nine months in prison on contempt charge

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders welcomes the 17 March 2011 release of Mahmudur Rahman, the editor of the opposition daily "Amar Desh", on completion of an arbitrary jail sentence for contempt of court. Held for a total of nine months and 17 days, Rahman was greeted as he left prison by family members, opposition leaders and fellow journalists.

The press freedom organisation calls on President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to end the political harassment that many opposition journalists have had to endure, including Rahman and members of his staff.

Rahman was arrested on 2 June 2010 on charges of fraud, libel, obstructing the police and sedition. A Dacca high court found him guilty of contempt of court on 19 August 2010 in connection with an article that accused judges of always granting injunctions requested by the government.

The court sentenced him to six months in prison and a fine of 100,000 Taka (990 euros), with the proviso that he would have to serve an additional month if the fine was not paid. As he was unable to pay it, he had to serve the extra month.

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