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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 13:38 GMT
Professors jailed in Bangladesh
Policeman chases student in Dhaka during August 2007 protests
Anti-government rioting took place on campuses across the country
Four Bangladeshi university professors have been jailed for inciting students to protest at emergency rule.

The academics were sentenced to two years each in the north-western town of Rajshahi. They denied the charges.

They were accused of leading student rallies in the town in August against the army-backed caretaker government which took power in January.

Meanwhile, the head of Dhaka university has appealed for the release of four academics detained since August.

'Defying the ban'

Dhaka university Vice Chancellor SMA Faiz met the head of the government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, to urge their release.

Army vehicle on fire
The army came under attack at Dhaka University campus

The 20-22 August demonstrations began at Dhaka university after students were allegedly beaten up by army personnel. Unrest rapidly spread to other towns in the country.

That led to the emergency government imposing a seven-day curfew.

Police say the four academics in Rajshahi were guilty of breaking emergency laws which outlawed protests and gatherings.

"They joined protests and marches defying the ban during the nationwide student unrest in August," police inspector Mahbub Siddiqui said, AFP news agency reports.

The protests left at least one person dead and hundreds injured.

Two other defendants - also teachers at Rajshahi university - were acquitted by the special court, police say.

The four professors in Rajshahi were jailed as dozens of students from Dhaka university held hands and covered their mouths with black badges to protest against the detention of the teachers as well as about 24 students, students say.

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