‘The state cannot avoid responsibility for Mushtaq’s death’
Expressing concern over the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail, SHUJAN (Citizens for Good Governance), a Dhaka-based NGO, demanded the scrapping of the Digital Security Act.
It is to be noted that Mushtaq Ahmed had remained behind bars since May last year following his arrest in a case filed under the said act.
In a statement issued on Saturday, SHUJAN also extended their condolences to the deceased’s family and friends.
“Mushtaq was imprisoned for a long time just for his writings. The state cannot avoid responsibility for his death. We strongly demand an impartial and fair investigation into the incident, and if any person or persons are found guilty, they must be brought to justice,” said SHUJAN.
The organization also called for the release of everyone wrongfully arrested in cases filed under the Digital Security Act, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore who has fallen sick in prison.
Demanding the repeal of the law that “deprives citizens of their basic rights”, SHUJAN in the statement said: “Even though freedom of expression is a fundamental constitutional right, the freedom of speech of citizens has now been made a criminal offense under the Digital Security Act.
“The repeated abuse of this law has created fear and panic in the minds of the people, which is in no way compatible with a democratic system.
“It might be recalled that a year ago on February 24, 2020, the High Court issued a rule asking why the two sections of the Digital Security Act should not be repealed. Although the ruling had asked the law and information secretaries to respond within four weeks, we are not aware of any response from the government,” the NGO stated.
SHUJAN also asked the government to make its position clear to the people regarding the court order.