The Office of UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh issued a statement, while the UK High Commission and the German Embassy in Dhaka put up posts on their verified Facebook pages yesterday, stressing the need for ensuring the right to free speech in the country
International communities have strongly condemned the brutal murder of Abrar Fahad, the second-year student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) who was beaten to death on October 7.
The Office of UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh issued a statement, while the UK High Commission and the German Embassy in Dhaka put up posts on their verified Facebook pages yesterday, stressing the need for ensuring the right to free speech in the country.
Addressing an event titled DCAB Talk, organized by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) auditorium, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said the incident in Buet was worrisome.
The UN calls for prompt and independent investigation into the horrific incident, and hopes to see quick justice, Seppo said at the event.
She also called for an end to impunity and the recurrence of such violence.
She said parents should be able to trust their children to be safe on university campuses.
Seppo also urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Bangladesh to come forward and take up the case.
Now is the commission’s chance to show its capacity to tackle such a violent violation of human rights, she added.
Earlier in the day, a statement issued by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator said campus violence in Bangladesh has affected and claimed too many lives over the years, with apparent impunity for those bearing responsibility.
“Freedom of speech is a human right, and nobody should be harassed, tortured or killed for exercising it,” the statement said.
The UK and Germany, meanwhile, posted messages on their verified Facebook pages strongly condemning Abrar’s murder and putting emphasis on upholding freedom of speech as a human right.
“Shocked and saddened by events at BUET. The UK stands unconditionally for free speech, media freedom, human rights and the rule of law,” the post by the British High Commission in Dhaka said.
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dhaka said it took notice of Abrar’s death with sadness and regret.
“Freedom of expression is one of the most important values of every democracy. It guarantees the individual right of freedom of speech and freedom of opinion as well as the right to publishing that opinion publically,” the post said.
“The German government emphatically supports those rights in Germany as well as globally. We place great value on not leaving any violations of these principles unpunished.
“The embassy would like to express its heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the student and calls on everybody to advocate freedom of expression emphasizing the importance of this keystone of democracy,” the post added.