DSA spurs ‘non-bailable’ arrests, allege activists

Staff Correspondent | Published: 18:38, Mar 05,2021 | Updated: 23:44, Mar 05,2021

 
 

Seven activists on Friday alleged that people were not getting bail in cases under the Digital Security Act although suspected killers and looters of people’s money were easily obtaining bail.

The activists who were earlier arrested under the Information and Communication Technology Act 2006 and the Digital Security Act 2018 made the allegation in a statement saying that they were victims of the repressive act.

They said that with the introduction of the 2018 act, a culture of not granting bail to people critical of the government was established. 

They pressed a four-point demand including reform of the ICT law, repeal of the DSA, the immediate release of all who had been arrested under the act and an investigation into the allegations of torture of cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and writer Mushtaq Ahmed in custody against members of the law enforcement agencies and the trial of the perpetrators.

They also demanded proper, adequate, acceptable and independent judicial probe into the torture and death of writer Mushtaq in jail custody and asked the authorities to make the probe report public.

The activists said that they were seriously concerned at the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed and were anxious for all who had been arrested under the law.

They said that they came to know that cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore alleged that he had been tortured in custody following his detention on May 2 and writer Mushtaq Ahmed was also tortured and was given electric shocks.

‘It is a serious violation of Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act, 2013 while it also ignores High Court directives,’ the statement read.

Terming the DSA an anti-people act, the statement said that the act was being used against people as a weapon of the oppressors.

Signatories of the statement are acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam, journalist Shafiqul Islam Kajal, architect Golam Mahfuz Joardar, Rastrachinta member Didarul Bhuiyan, Chattogram University teacher Maidul Islam, road safety movement and Bangladesh Chhatra Federation’s Chattogram leaders Maruf Hossain and Aziur Rahman Asaf.

Mushtaq and Kishore were arrested in early May 2020 in a case under the DSA for their social media posts criticising the government.

Mushtaq died in jail on February 25. Kishore was released on bail after 10 months on Thursday and was hospitalised.

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