The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Taslima sentenced to a year in jail

Dhaka, Oct. 13 (PTI): Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by a court for casting aspersions on Islam, a media report said today.

A court in Gopalganj sentenced the self-exiled writer yesterday for hurting religious feelings in her books, including Lajja (Shame), the daily Ittefaq reported.

Nasreen, 40, who has drawn flak from Islamists for her writings, was sentenced to jail by magistrate Shah Alam if she returns to Bangladesh, three years after the case was filed by one Dabiruddin Azad.

The physician-turned-writer fled Bangladesh in the early nineties after her novel Lajja, which described persecution of Hindu community by Bangladesh’s Muslim majority, triggered protests by Islamists and was banned. She has since been staying in India and Europe. Her latest novel Utal Hawa (Gusty Wind), was also banned this year. She was living in Calcutta till last month.

Taslima is the second Bangladeshi writer forced to live in exile to avoid harassment and repression. Daud Haider, a renowned poet had to leave Bangladesh in the early seventies during the Sheikh Mujib’s rule in a similar situation when fundamentalist launched a movement for his alleged blasphemous comments.

Haider now lives in Germany.

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