Article 19, a London based rights organisation, on Tuesday demanded immediate and unconditional release of photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol.
Shafiul was shown arrested under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Jashore on May 3, 2020 after he had been found at Benapole on that day following his disappearance nearly two months ago.
A Jashore Judicial Magistrate Court sent him to jail under the Section 54 but granted bail in a case on charge of ‘illegally entering Bangladesh’.
In a statement sent to the media, Article 19’s Bangladesh and South Asia regional director Faruq Faisel expressed concern over the ‘abuse of legal proceedings against Kajol’ and condemned such proceedings.
‘While the government is releasing prisoners to prevent the spread of coronavirus in prisons, there is no rationale in sending Kajol to jail now. Kajol is not accused in any heinous case like murder, rape, terrorism, militancy, or treason,’ he said.
He said there had been three lawsuits against him that were identical under the controversial Digital Security Act 2018, only for expressing his views on Facebook.
Shafiqul was handcuffed behind the back and was escorted by the police to the Jashore court on Sunday morning with a case filed by the Border Guard Bangladesh for contravening the passport law while the police in Jashore said that he was accused of four more cases filed in Kamrangirchar, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Hazaribagh and Tejgaon police stations in Dhaka.
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