Oppression of free speech must end: AHRCNew Age Online
The Asian Human Rights Commission in its statement on Friday called the Bangladesh government to stop oppression of free speech.
The AHRC also expressed deep concern about the continued and arbitrary detention of Adilur Rahman Khan, the secretary of Odhikar. The AHRC said that the government has introduced new allegations against ASM Nasiruddin Elan, the director of Odhikar, in an attempt to detain Elan as well, so as to ‘absolutely cripple the functioning of the organisation.’
Condemning the arbitrary arrest and detention of Adilur, the AHRC, along with other human rights organisations across the world, have issued statements calling upon the Bangladesh government not to stifle whistle-blowers and to abstain from misusing law and procedure to circumscribe free opinion.
It is reported that the allegation is that Adilur and Elan have 'direct and active involvement in the preparation, publication and dissemination of a report' concerning the murder of civilians in Bangladesh by the government and members of the ruling political coalition.
The case against Adilur and Elan is registered for offences punishable under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006. The police also alleged that Adilur and Elan, as persons responsible for the functioning of Odhikar, have published false images and information that has the potential to disrupt law and order in the country.
The Metropolitan Magistrate is expected to accept the allegation and issue an arrest warrant against Elan.
The AHRC in its statement condemned the state action and called upon the Bangladesh government to immediately put an end to its repressive tactics. ‘The AHRC requests the government to repeal all the charges against Odhikar and its representatives’ read the statement.
The statement further emphasized that if the government has concerns about the facts and circumstances that led to the 5 May violence, they must be answered by an independent investigation and adjudication process that enquires into the incident.
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