Bangladesh man given jail term for PM Hasina Facebook post

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina - file photo April 2007
Image caption Sheikh Hasina's supporters were angered by the comments

A Bangladeshi university lecturer has been sentenced to six months in jail after making remarks on Facebook about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Ruhul Khandakar was found guilty in absentia of contempt of court after failing to return from Australia in response to a court summons.

Last year Mr Khandakar posted comments implying that he wanted Sheikh Hasina to die, high court officials said.

His comment reportedly related to Bangladesh's high road fatality rate.

It was posted following the death of one of the country's best known film makers, Tareq Masud, in a road accident in August, which left many Bangladeshis deeply shocked.

According to officials, Ruhul Khandakar blamed the government for the fact there are so many road deaths in Bangladesh.

"Tareq Masud died as a result of government giving licence to unqualified drivers. Many die, why does not Sheikh Hasina die?" his Facebook post said, according to court officials quoted by the AFP news agency.

When the comments appeared in the media, there were protests by the prime minister's supporters.

The high court ordered officials to return Mr Khandakar, who is studying in Australia, to Bangladesh. It also directed his university employers to take action against him.

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