A joint statement signed by 311 dignitaries was issued on Wednesday evening
More than 300 dignitaries in Bangladesh have issued a joint statement demanding release of the individuals – including a writer, a cartoonist and a social reform activist – who have been arrested under the Digital Security Act (DSA).
A total of 311 dignitaries, including Dhaka University Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Jahangirnagar University economics professor Anu Muhammad, photojournalist Shahidul Alam, and SHUJAN Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar, signed the statement issued on Wednesday.
“We learnt from the media that Ahmed Kabir Kishore [cartoonist], Mushtaq Ahmed [writer] and Didar Bhuiyan [organizer, Rashtrochinta] were picked up allegedly by RAB officials on May 4 and May 5. They also took away Didar’s mobile phone, laptop, computers and other things,” the statement says.
They urged the government to release the activists who have been arrested for expressing their opinion on social media.
The statement further said at least five journalists were arrested this month under the Digital Security Act, and the dignitaries are extremely concerned and enraged seeing such violation of human rights.
Meanwhile, the National Committee against Fascism and Imperialism issued a statement on Wednesday, demanding that the government release those arrested under the DSA.
In the statement, the committee President Prof Akmal Hossain and General Secretary Hasibur Rahman said arresting Ahmed Kabir Kishore, Mustaq Ahmed and Didarul Bhuiyan was a direct blow to freedom of speech.
They also condemned the arrest of journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, who had gone missing on March 10 and appeared blindfolded and bound near the Bangladesh-India border in Benapole, Jessore on May 2, on charge of illegally entering the country.