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SC lawyer Imtiaz Mahmood gets bail in ICT Act case

  • Published at 10:59 pm May 16th, 2019
File photo of Imtiaz mahmood Courtesy

Judge As-Shams Jaglul Hossain of the Bangladesh Cyber Crime Tribunal passed his bail order against a Tk500 bond from Imtiaz

A Dhaka court on Thursday granted bail to author and lawyer Imtiaz Mahmood, a day after his arrest in a case filed under the Section 57 of the ICT Act.

Judge As-Shams Jaglul Hossain of the Bangladesh Cyber Crime Tribunal passed his bail order against a Tk500 bond from Imtiaz, according to court sources.

The Dhaka Bar Association General Secretary, Md Asaduzzaman Khan Rachi, and lawyer Sakhawat Hossain Taslim stood for Imtiaz, while Nazrul Islam Shamim represented the state. 

After listening to both sides, the court came up with the decision, said its Bench Assistant Shamim Al Mamun. 

A former left-leaning student leader, Imtiaz has been enrolled in the Bangladesh Bar Council  since 1998, and received membership at the Supreme Court Bar Association in 2013. He also writes on several issues, especially on the state of ethnic minorities. 

He was sent to jail on Wednesday afternoon, hours after being arrested in the case lodged in 2017 over Facebook posts.

After arresting Imtiaz from his Banani residence, Khagrachhari police Officer-in-Charge Shahadat Hossain Tito said local resident Md Shofikul Islam had filed the case against Imtiaz on July 21, 2017.

Shofikul accused him of spreading rumours, hurting religious sentiments, and deteriorating the law and order situation through several Facebook posts criticizing Bangali residents and law enforcement in hilly areas.

Md Robiul Islam, a lawyer for Imtiaz, on Wednesday said his client had been granted bail by the High Court on July 25, 2017, and a Khagrachhari court issued an arrest warrant against him on January 21, 2019.

Meanwhile, protesters under the banner “Shahbagh against Repression” formed a human chain on Wednesday near the Shahbagh intersection, demanding Imtiaz’s unconditional release. 

In addition, PEN Bangladesh, a platform of Bangladesh-based writers, poets, publishers, editors, translators, journalists, and academics, also condemned his arrest and imprisonment.

The South Asian unit of Amnesty International also expressed its concern over the arrest, urging Bangladeshi authorities to show respect towards people’s right to peaceful freedom of expression.