Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday shrugged off criticism of her authorities’s rights report as lots of marched in a second day of protests over the demise of a outstanding author in jail.
Demonstrators marched at Dhaka College chanting slogans condemning the federal government’s remedy of Mushtaq Ahmed in addition to different writers, journalists and activists.
One other protest was staged on the Nationwide Press Membership, whereas dozens of individuals carried a symbolic coffin round Dhaka College demanding the scrapping of the Digital Safety Act (DSA) underneath which Ahmed was detained final Could.
The wide-ranging DSA has been used to crack down on dissent because it was enacted in 2018.
The protests adopted clashes with police and safety forces within the capital on Friday evening. Police stated six folks have been arrested whereas activists stated not less than 30 have been injured. Extra protests towards the demise and arrests have been deliberate Sunday.
Talking Saturday at a uncommon press convention to mark a UN advice that Bangladesh be reclassified as a ‘creating’ economic system, Prime Minister Hasina — who has been in workplace for 12 years — brushed apart worldwide considerations over the regulation and Ahmed’s demise.
“What can we do if somebody dies after falling sick,” she stated. “No demise is desired. Additionally it is not desired that unrest shall be created.”
“Whether or not the regulation has been misused or not will depend on your standpoint. I feel the regulation is taking its personal course and can accomplish that. If somebody doesn’t commit against the law, he won’t be punished in a trial,” the prime minister added.
Ahmed collapsed and died at Kashimpur Excessive Safety Jail late Thursday.
The 53-year-old, a crocodile farmer and a author recognized for his satirical fashion, was charged with spreading rumours and conducting “anti-state actions” after criticising the federal government’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic on Fb.
Ambassadors specific ‘grave concern’
Protesters have stated his demise was a “custodial homicide” after he was denied bail six occasions in 10 months.
Authorities say they’ve ordered a committee to research whether or not there was negligence by jail officers.
However ambassadors from 13 international locations, together with america, France, Britain, Canada and Germany, have expressed “grave concern” over the case.
“We name on the federal government of Bangladesh to conduct a swift, clear and unbiased inquiry into the total circumstances of Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed’s demise,” the envoys said in a statement released late Friday.
They stated their international locations would pursue “wider considerations in regards to the provisions and implementation of the DSA, in addition to questions on its compatibility with Bangladesh’s obligations underneath worldwide human rights legal guidelines and requirements.”
Rights teams have additionally raised considerations in regards to the case and the detention of Kabir Kishore, a cartoonist who was arrested similtaneously Ahmed.
PEN America stated authorities ought to drop prices towards Kishore, whereas the US-based Committee for the Safety of Journalists stated he had handed a notice to his brother throughout a listening to this week stating that he had been subjected to extreme bodily abuse in custody.