Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

A call for justice

Update : 12 Aug 2013, 03:16 PM

That the arrest of Adilur Rahman, the secretary of Odhikar, was carried out under questionable circumstances is highly alarming, to say the least.

First off, the human rights activist was arrested without a warrant, and his home and the Odhikar office in Gulshan office were searched. On top of that, he was not allowed to speak to a lawyer until his hearing on Sunday, and then, at the hearing, denied bail without showing that he was a flight risk.

Not to mention, when Odhikar tried to lodge a General Diary with the police, in response to the arrest, the officer-in-charge refused to file it. And, yesterday, the High Court stayed his five-day remand.

Adilur’s arrest was based on the ICT Act, with the claim being that he falsely reported information about human rights abuses carried out by government forces during the May 5 and 6 Hefazat movement in Dhaka.There is much debate about the actual number of deaths but neither the government nor the human rights organisations have supported their claims with actual evidence.

It seems that the real motivation behind Adilur’s arrest is an effort by the government to suppress any information that would lead to negative publicity in the pre-election period.

As is well known, the government has a poor track record when it comes to allowing dissenting voices. If the government wants to disprove the allegations against it, trying to silence its critics is not the best way to handle the situation.

The government needs to end its blatant campaign of fear against human rights activists and follow a just course of action. Concrete evidence also needs to be produced by all parties to ensure that the truth finally comes to light.

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