The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina rejected the demands of Islamists for new anti-blasphemy law, according to which the people who defame Islam or Prophet Muhammad would be punished.
Sheikh Hasina declared that the laws which were existing earlier were sufficient for punishing people who insulted the religion. It is important to note that a lot of Islamists in Bangladesh rallied in Dhaka for demanding the death penalty for people who were guilty of blasphemy.
The Islamists gave three-week ultimatum to Bangladeshi Government for meeting the demands which included tough punishments to the atheist bloggers too.
What is Blasphemy?
Blasphemy is an act by someone to insult or disrespect religious deity or show irreverence to holy persons or religion or things.
Blasphemy law in Bangladesh under Penal Code 1980
Bangladesh was a secular state in 1971 and became the Islamist state in 1988. However, the secular penal code is used in Bangladesh since 1980.
Under Chapter XV (Offences Relating to Religion) of the Bangladesh Penal Code 1980, Section 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class), Section 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and Section 298 (Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings) are related to blasphemy and describe punishments as well.
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