The court also asked the head of the ENT department of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) to form a medical board within the next 24 hours to investigate the case
A Dhaka court has asked the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to investigate a torture complaint filed by Cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, who had been in jail for more than nine months in a case filed against him under the Digital Security Act.
Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Judge KM Emrul Kayesh, after taking the complaint into cognizance, also asked the PBI to designate an official, equivalent to the rank of police superintendent, to investigate the case and submit its probe report within the next one month (April 15).
Additional Public Prosecutor Taposh Kumar Pal confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
At the same time, the court also asked the head of ENT department of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) to form a three member medical board within the next 24 hours to investigate the complaint, with two other doctors from the DMCH - one from Orthopaedics and another from medicine department - as members of the board.
The court also asked the medical board to report in detail on injury marks on Kishore’s body, and mention how long the marks have been there, and send it to the PBI within the next three working days. The ENT doctor will also conduct tests on Kishore’s ears, nose and throat while the doctor of the orthopaedics department will examine the injury on his leg.
The medical board was asked to examine the torture that Kishore faced in police custody between May 2, 2020 and May 5, 2020 within 24 working hours, and are expected to submit the findings to the PBI officer who will conduct the probe.
On March 10, Kishore filed a complaint with the court under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act against unidentified perpetrators.
Kishore was released from Kashimpur Central Jail on March 4, a day after the High Court granted him six-months' bail in a DSA case.
Cartoonist Kishore and writer Mushtaq's arrest
RAB personnel arrested cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and writer Mushtaq Ahmed, also a businessman, from their respective homes in Kakrail and Lalmatia areas on May 5, 2020 on charges of spreading misinformation about the government on social media, reports UNB.
A case was filed under the DSA against them and nine others with Ramna police station, on charges of posting anti-government remarks on Facebook.
Later, a court sent Kishore and Mushtaq to jail under the case. Calls for their release were widespread and sustained throughout their time in prison.
Soon after Mushtaq's arrest, more than 300 dignitaries in Bangladesh issued a joint statement demanding his release, alongside that of cartoonist Ahmed Kishore.
Amnesty International reiterated the demand in a statement in January, saying Kishore and Mushtaq had been arrested "solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression."
Writer Mushtaq Ahmed, 53, died on February 25 in Kashimpur Jail, Gazipur, leading to public outcry on social media platforms and protests by student bodies in Dhaka.