Torture in Custody: Court accepts case filed by Kishore

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A Dhaka court yesterday directed the Police Bureau of Investigation to launch a probe into a case filed over the torture of cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore while he was in custody.

Judge KM Emrul Kayesh of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka passed the order after accepting the case, Additional Public Prosecutor Tapash Kumar Pal told The Daily Star.

The court ordered PBI to conduct the investigation with a PBI official of superintendent of police ranking and submit the probe report by April 15.

The court also asked the director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital to form a three-member medical board to examine the torture that Kishore suffered in custody from May 2 to May 4 last year.

The judge ordered the medical board to make a report within 24 work hours, containing information on the time when Kishore was tortured and injuried, and to submit the report to the PBI officer who will investigate the case.

A specialist doctor from ENT department will lead the board, while two other specialists — one from the orthopaedics department and another from the medicine department — will be members of the medical board.

On March 10, Kishore filed the case with the same court under the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act-2013, seeking redress. He did not mention the names of any law-enforcement agencies or officials, instead choosing to file charges against a group of unidentified people.

The judge also took the case into cognisance and recorded the statements of Kishore that day.

Kishore, who was prosecuted under the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA), languished in jail for around 10 months. He got out on bail on March 4. After his release, he revealed to the media how he was brutally tortured before he was shown as arrested on papers in the case.

In the case statement, Kishore was picked up on May 2 last year by 16-17 people in plainclothes.

Kishore stated that he was kept in an unknown place between May 2 and 4 last year, and tortured.

“At one stage of the interrogation, one of the men got up and slapped me on my ears so hard that I lost consciousness for a while,” the statement quotes Kishore as saying, adding that soon after he felt blood coming out of his ear.

They also repeatedly tortured Kishore with steel-plated sticks, according to the statement. He said he lost consciousness.

Kishore said he was tortured like this several times till May 4 after which he found himself in a Rapid Action Battalion office.

In the statement, he also said he was suffering from complications from the torture.

Source: The Daily Star



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