The two were arrested in a case filed under the Digital Security Act
A virtual court in Dhaka on Sunday refused to hear the bail petitions of cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and writer Mushtaq Ahmed in a case filed against them under the Digital Security Act.
Metropolitan Magistrate Shadbir Yasir Ahsan Chowdhury of Virtual Court-2 refused to hear the petitions. This, since a seven-day remand petition submitted by Ramna police station Sub-Inspector Jamshedul Aam, also the case investigation officer, is currently pending.
Sub-Inspector Md Nizam Uddin, general recording officer of Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court, confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
In the order, the court pronounced that, as the investigating officer of Ramna Police Station had submitted a seven-day remand prayer against the two on May 7 which is currently pending, the bail petitions and the remand prayer will be heard when regular court proceedings resume.
All regular court operations are currently suspended due to the nationwide shutdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Kishore and Mushtaq from Dhaka’s Kakrail and Lalmatia areas respectively on May 5. Later they were handed over to police.
RAB-3 Deputy Assistant Director Abu Bakkar Siddique filed the case against the two and nine others with Ramna police station.
“They have been arrested on charges of spreading anti-government remarks and rumours regarding the coronavirus situation and various law enforcement agencies,” said SI Jamshedul Alam.
“We are trying to arrest others named in the case,” he added.
Cartoonist Kishore was posting various critical cartoon-posters on the role of the government in the ongoing coronavirus situation in the country on his “Ami Kishore” Facebook page.
Mushtaq was reportedly writing about critical issues on Facebook using multiple IDs, including the page “Michael Kumir Tagore.”