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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 04/08/2013
BANGLADESH
Bangladesh, Prime Minister: No to a law against blasphemy
Interviewed by the BBC, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the country is "a secular democracy" in which "everyone has the right to practice their religion." For days, supporters of the Islamist party have been calling for a blasphemy law that prescribes the death penalty for those who offend Muhammad and Islam.

Dhaka (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Bangladesh does not need laws against blasphemy" according to Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the country, responding to the demands of radical Islamists to create ad hoc laws to punish those who offend Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. On April 6 hundreds of supporters of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami demonstrated to demand the death penalty for perpetrators of blasphemy, and the creation of a law similar to those existing in Pakistan.

The Muslim fundamentalists have given the government an ultimatum of three weeks to approve an anti-blasphemy law and hand out a heavy punishment to the so-called "atheist bloggers" guilty of offending Mohammed and Islam.

In an interview with the BBC, the Prime Minister and leader of the Awami League said: "This country is a secular democracy. So each and every religion has the right to practice their religion freely and fair. But it is not fair to hurt anybody's religious feeling. Always we try to protect every religious sentiment. "

Last week, police arrested three bloggers. Human rights groups and activists from the secular and democratic movement Shahbag (to which those arrested belong, ed) have criticized the government, accusing it of bowing to pressure from radical Muslims. However, speaking to the BBC, Sheikh Hasina defended the decision of the police to arrest the three bloggers. Refuting allegations of pressure, the prime minister said: " If anybody tried to hurt any sentiments of any religion or any religious leader, there is a law. We can take any action."

Since the end of February more than 80 people have died in protests by supporters of the Jamaat, which together with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) continues to organize strikes (hartal) against the verdicts issued by the courts of war. Most of the victims died at the hands of the police.

In Bangladesh, Islam is the state religion, practiced by more than 89% of the population. Catholics are just 0.1%. The Constitution does not recognize Sharia law and guarantees complete freedom of worship, even if conversions to a religion other than Islam are often opposed.

 


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See also
01/05/2012 BANGLADESH
Teacher arrested for having a copy of a book by Taslima Nasrin,
07/30/2008 PAKISTAN
Muslim lawyer against manipulation in blasphemy cases
by Qaiser Felix
02/12/2010 BANGLADESH
The "prophet Jesus” arrested in Bangladesh: he called for war against Jews and Christians
by William Gomes
01/20/2015 BANGLADESH
Dhaka, Islamic State extremists arrested. Authorities on high alert
by Sumon Corraya
04/12/2005 BANGLADESH
Baptist clergyman decapitated

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”
ASIA
Easter: The silence of the innocent and the gag
by Bernardo CervelleraViolations of religious freedom and the West's hypocricy surrounding this issue are likely to drag the world into an unprecedented chaos. But even in silence - of death accepted for love or death inflicted by power - God is at work. An indestructible hope rises on Easter morning and a small opening of the heart is just enough for it to invade a lifetime. Happy Easter.
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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