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Rights defenders: Handcuffing journalist not justifiable

  • Published at 11:11 pm January 1st, 2019
Dhaka Tribune’s Khulna correspondent Hedait Hossain Mollah is seen arrested at Batiaghata police station in Khulna on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Plainclothes policemen on Tuesday arrested Dhaka Tribune’s Khulna correspondent Hedait Hossain Molla

Eminent rights defenders have condemned the handcuffing of a journalist in Khulna, who was arrested by police on an allegation that he had provided “untrue” information regarding the 11th general election. 

They said such treatment to a media professional is inhuman, cruel and disgraceful that is not permitted by the law.

Plainclothes policemen on Tuesday arrested Dhaka Tribune’s Khulna correspondent Hedait Hossain Molla in a case filed under the Digital Security Act and led him to a police van in handcuffs.

The arrestee is also a correspondent for the Bangla Tribune, and the city editor of Khulna-based Daily Probaho.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque told the Dhaka Tribune that police should not use handcuffs if there is no chance of the arrestee escaping.

Also Read- Dhaka Tribune journalist arrested under Digital Security Act

“Every single citizen does have dignity. Even if the journalist is arrested for publication of any misleading news, he (journalist) should be treated with dignity. Handcuffing someone like this is disgraceful,” he said.

According to Section 50 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 - “The person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.”

Citing article 35 (5) of the Bangladesh constitution that deals with protection in respect of trial and punishment, eminent Supreme Court lawyer Dr Shahdeen Malik finds the police behavior (handcuffing the arrestee) as “inhuman and cruel.”

The article says: “No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment.”

“The journalist is not a notorious or violent criminal. The way the journalist was arrested from the Khulna Press Club not acceptable; he was treated in a cruel and inhuman manner,” he added.