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    » 01/05/2012, 00.00

    BANGLADESH

    Teacher arrested for having a copy of a book by Taslima Nasrin,



    Police found a copy of Lajja (Shame), in the school library. The famous novel banned since 1993 for "blasphemy". Forced to flee death threats since 1994, the author comments: "This arrest proves that Bangladesh is not a democracy but a totalitarian regime."
    Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The principal of a technical school in the district of Pirojpur (southern Bangladesh) was arrested for possession of a copy of Lajja (Shame), the famous novel by writer Taslima Nasrin. The book has been banned in Bangladesh since 1993 because it is considered blasphemous against Islam the state religion. The teacher, Yunus Ali, faces up to three years in prison.

    The police took him out of the KC Technical and Business Management College after finding a copy of the book in the school library. Ali defended himself against accusations claiming to be the victim of a conspiracy. The inspector Abdul Malek said: "Lajja is a banned book. Nevertheless, the principal kept it in the library. He must answer for this crime. "

    In Lajja, Taslima Nasrin, 49, tells the life of a Hindu family persecuted by Muslims. The author had to flee the country in 1994 after receiving death threats from Islamic fundamentalists. Since then, she has lived between India and Europe, without being able to return to Bangladesh. Her family is Muslim, but today she proclaims herself to be atheist.

    Contacted by AsiaNews, Nasrin said: "The arrest of this teacher is a sign that Bangladesh is not in reality a democracy but a totalitarian regime. Since 1990, Islamic fundamentalists have silenced my freedom of expression and tried to kill me, forced me to flee my country and leave my family. "

    Now, she concluded, "someone is in danger because of my book, and risks his freedom. But Lajja is not a novel of blasphemy: it is just the defense of a persecuted religious [Hindu] minority, one that is constantly harassed by the Muslim majority. I wish the best for this man and for those who are every day deprived of their freedom of expression. " (GM)

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    See also

    17/01/2012 BANGLADESH
    Taslima Nasrin: Fleeing from a totalitarian and corrupt regime
    The famous writer tells AsiaNews about her exile from Bangladesh, the country "nominally democratic country, but which in reality is only a corrupt government." Following the pubblication of her novel Lajja (Shame), Taslima had to flee the state in 1994 because of Islamist death threats. All her books are banned in her homeland.

    24/01/2008 INDIA – FRANCE
    Sarkozy not to present award to Nasrin, still a target of Islamic fundamentalism
    New Delhi tells Paris not to present the Bangladeshi writer with the Simone de Beauvoir Award on Indian soil. For years she has been the target of Islamic fundamentalists for her action on behalf of women.

    08/04/2013 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.

    16/01/2013 PAKISTAN
    Supreme Court upholds Rinsha Masih's innocence, Paul Batthi satisfied
    Pakistan's highest court rejects prosecutors' appeal. For the Christian girl's lawyers, the verdict "sends out a positive image of Pakistan". Paul Bhatti tells AsiaNews that they did not flee but placed their faith in the justice system.

    04/06/2008 SWEDEN – BANGLADESH
    Taslima Nasreen finds refuge in Sweden
    The popular Bangladeshi writer and human rights activist, who has received death threats from Islamic fundamentalists, will live in Uppsala. She will receive a monthly allowance from the local chapter of PEN, the worldwide association of writers.



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