Fifty-one noted citizens yesterday demanded a judicial probe into writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in prison and the probe report be made public.
Issuing a joint statement yesterday, the citizens said there is an allegation that Mushtaq was imprisoned unjustifiably and forced to death as a consequence of gradual mental torture.
Mushtaq, who was arrested under the Digital Security Act, died in Kashimpur High-Security Jail-3 in Gazipur on Thursday.
The citizens also demanded immediate release of the seven students detained by police during a rally in the city’s Shahbagh protesting Mushtaq’s death. They also called for withdrawal of the case against the seven.
Besides, they demanded release of labour leader Ruhul Amin of Khulna who was held by detectives and shown arrested under the DSA on Saturday, allegedly for uploading a post on social media supporting the protest against Mushtaq’s death. They also wanted the case against him withdrawn.
The citizens further demanded medical compensation for those injured in the “barbaric” police attack during Friday’s incident in Shahbagh and punishment of the culprits.
They said both of the cases filed against the seven students under the Penal Code-1860 and against Ruhul Amin under the DSA are unjust, indiscreet, and repressive, adding that they, as commoners, are angered by the case-filings and police attack on peaceful protesters.
They demanded the abolishment of the repressive DSA and withdrawal of all cases filed under the act.
The citizens demanded release of ailing cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, also arrested under the DSA, on bail for better treatment, citing the cartoonist was allegedly tortured in custody. They also demanded trial of the torturers.
The signatories include Prof Anu Muhammad of Jahangirnagar University; author Rahnuma Ahmed; Zafrullah Chowdhury, founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra; international relations expert Prof CR Abrar; human rights activist Shaheen Anam; Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive officer of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association; rights activist Khushi Kabir; woman rights activist Farida Aktar, researcher Shapan Adnan; Azfar Hussain, vice-president of Global Center for Advanced Studies in New York, USA; Prof Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University; rights activist Nur Khan, and rights activist Shireen Huq.
Source: The Daily Star