Bail petition of Poet Henry Swapan rejected

Bail petition of Poet Henry Swapan rejected

Police arrested the eminent poet and journalist from his home in Barisal on Tuesday

A Barisal court has rejected the bail petition of eminent poet and journalist Henry Swapan in a case filed under the Digital Security Act, accusing him of hurting religious sentiments.

Advocate Obaidullah Saju, president District Bar Association, sought bail for Swapan from the court of metropolitan magistrate Shamim Ahmed on Wednesday.

Advocate Saju told journalists the court did not grant bail as it was beyond the court’s jurisdiction.

On Thursday they will file an appeal with the district judge court which is empowered to hear the bail petition of the accused, he added.

Barisal City Corporation (BCC) Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, at a meeting with journalists and cultural activists at Barisal Journalist Union office said he was trying to negotiate the matter and hoped he would be successful.

The BCC Mayor as part of negotiations has already discussed matters with leaders of sociocultural, professional, and religious communities, including the local Catholic Church and law enforcement agencies.

A delegation of journalists and cultural activists also met Henry at Barisal Central Jail on Wednesday noon and the poet agreed to offer an apology ‘if anyone was aggrieved by any of his comments or activities.’

Lackavalier Gomes, a local Catholic church priest, filed the case with Kotwali police on Tuesday at noon against Henry Swapon, 48, Alfred Sarkar, 52, Jewel Sarkar, 40, for hurting religious sentiments with various comments on social media.

On the same day, police arrested Henry from his residence and produced him before a local court, said Sub-Inspector Firoj Al Mamun, investigation officer of the case, adding that the court sent him to jail in the evening.