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Bangladesh man held over Facebook photos of PM

Facebook logo. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

DHAKA: Bangladesh police have arrested a businessman after he allegedly edited together a photograph of the country's female prime minister with that of a half-naked woman on his Facebook page.

Police following up a tip-off visited Shariful Islam's home at Maizdi, 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of Dhaka, and found the doctored pictures of the premier on his computer, local police chief Chowdhury Abul Kalam said.

"We asked him to open his Facebook page. On the page, the face of the prime minister Sheikh Hasina was pasted with that of a half-naked woman," he told AFP on Thursday.

Islam, an owner of an advertising firm, also "doctored the pictures of the home minister and some other ministers", Kalam said, adding that the accused faced up to 10 years in jail if found guilty on defamation charges.

Bangladesh authorities have launched a series of prosecutions this year over material on Facebook pages aimed at Hasina.

Last month a student was charged with sedition after he posted comments on Facebook linking Hasina with the disappearance of an opposition leader.

In January police detained Al Nayeem Jubaer, 19, for posting obscene remarks about Hasina's father, the nation's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on the social networking site.

Also that month a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man was sentenced in absentia to six months in jail after posting a Facebook message that appeared to wish for the prime minister to die in a car accident.

Ruhul Khandaker, who has been studying in Australia since 2009, will also be prosecuted for sedition and the courts have sought to have him extradited.

 

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