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Bangladesh university professors acquitted of incitement charges

[JURIST] Four professors at the University of Dhaka [university website] in Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] were acquitted Monday of inciting students during campus protests which caused the interim government to impose a curfew [JURIST report] in August 2007. Eleven students were also acquitted for their part in the protests. Four other youths were sentenced in absentia to two years imprisonment. Lack of evidence was cited as the reason for the acquittals. In a separate action, the President of Bangladesh, Iajuddin Ahmed [official profile], pardoned fourteen students from Dhaka and Rajshahi [official website] universities who were involved in the August uprisings.

The acquittals comes a month after four university professors from Rajshahi University were sentenced [JURIST report] to prison terms for their involvement in the protests. The student protests against the military-backed interim government resulted in hundreds of injuries and one death. The riots first began at Dhaka University, when students demanded that a military post be removed from the campus, and then spilled out into the Dhaka city streets. Protesters called for an end to emergency laws [JURIST report], which have been in place since January 2007. Reuters has more.

9:58 PM ET - A late report says President Ahmed has pardoned the four convicted students. From Dhaka, the Daily Star has more.

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