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Bangladesh 26 April 2005

French filmmaker Arnaud Mandagaran allowed to leave the country

French documentary filmmaker Arnaud Mandagaran, who was arrested for an alleged visa violation on 14 April, was allowed to leave the country on 24 April. Permission for his departure was given by a judge in Bhomra, near the Indian border, and was conveyed orally to the French embassy. Mandagaran left from Dhaka, where he was transferred following his arrest in Bhomra.


Arnaud Mandagaran released while awaiting outcome of case

A judge in Bhomra on 20 April provisionally released French documentary filmmaker Arnaud Mandagaran while awaiting the outcome of an alleged visa violation case against him. Police had on 19 April returned him from Dhaka, where he was being questioned, to Bhomra where he had been arrested on 14 April. Mandagaran has been told to stay in the country until the verdict. He is now in Dhaka.


French filmmaker arrested for visa violation

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the arrest of French documentary filmmaker Arnaud Mandagaran for an alleged visa violation on 14 April after re-entering Bangladesh from India, and called for his immediate release.

"His arrest, which could continue for seven days during the wait for an administrative decision, is an aberration and out of all proportion to the nature of the offence," the press freedom organization said, adding, "nothing justifies the arrest of this journalist, who was just doing his job."

Mandagaran, 55, and his Indian guide, Mafizul Islam, 18, were arrested in Bhomra, in the Satkhira district near the Indian border. After arriving in Bangladesh on 26 February, he spent a month and a half in India before re-entering Bangladesh. He was transferred to Dhaka yesterday for questioning.

The award-winning filmmaker is best-known for his film, "India: Turmoils of the Century."

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