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Bangladesh Passes Anti-Porn Law

Bangladesh Passes Anti-Porn Law
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Feb 28, 2012 3:00 PM PST    Text size: 

DHAKA, Bangladesh — The Bangladesh Parliament has put into law its first-ever anti-porn law today that carries stiff penalties for the production, preservation, transportation and marketing of porn.

Although the law's toughest sentence targets child porn violators with 10 years jail time and a fine of $6,116, anyone caught producing adult material that lures any man, woman or child into a production — that includes stills, video or film — could also face seven years in prison and $2,446 in fines.

Control Bill-2012, introduced earlier this year by home minister Shahara Khatun, received the green light and was aimed at curbing degradation of moral and social values in the predominantly Muslim country.

According to reports, the law was passed after deputy speaker Shawkat Ali put it to voice vote.

Another provision covers anyone attempting to blackmail or trying to damage a person's social or individual reputation through the use of porn. The offender would then be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison and fined $2,446.

The definition of porn under the law covers obscene books, periodicals, sculptures, imaginary structures, cartoons or leaflets that stimulate sex. It also includes any vulgar dialogue, acting, body gesture, nude or half-nude dance which creates sexual urge and that could be contained in film, video, audiovisual film, still picture, graphics or in any other means that has no artistic or educational value.

It is not applicable to books, writings, drawings or pictures reserved or used for religious purposes.

Violators would be tried under the Criminal Procedure Code and the offenders could be tried in a special court or tribunal, according to the prime minister's press secretary Abul Kalam Azad.

Enforcement of the law would fall to a police sub-inspector or officer of same status who would complete his investigation within 30 working days.

A 15 day extension could be granted by the court in the event the investigation could not be completed in 30 days.

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