PEN Bangladesh has voiced its concern over the recent arrest of Dhaka Tribune’s Kurigram District Correspondent Ariful Islam
In a press release on Thursday, it urged the government of Bangladesh to drop all charges against Ariful Islam.
In the press release, the organisation also demanded the withdrawal of the case against journalist Matiur Rahman, editor of the daily Manab Zamin and others accused in the case for publishing a report on people “involved” with disgraced ruling party operative Shamima Noor Papia’s alleged escort services based at The Westin in Dhaka.
PEN Bangladesh also asked the government and its law enforcement agencies to locate journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, co-accused in the same case filed under the Digital Security Act, who has been missing since Tuesday last, a day after the filing of the case.
PEN Bangladesh urged the government to address the long-standing broader concerns regarding free speech, including revisions to the Digital Security Act, to remove contradictions with universal fundamental rights, which are also assured in the Bangladesh’s constitution.
PEN Bangladesh, the local chapter of PEN International, promotes and upholds literature and freedom of expression in the country.