Odhikar’s Adilur, Elan walk out of jail

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News Desk :
Human Rights organisation Odhikar’s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and Director ASM Nasiruddin Elan walked out of jail after securing bail in the High Court on 10 October.

They left Keraniganj jail at 7.05pm on Sunday, the defendants’ lawyer Ahsanuzzaman told the media.

Earlier, on 10 October, the High Court bench of Justice Md Emdadul Haque Azad granted them bail in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act in 2013, reports TBS.

The Cyber Tribunal judge AM Julfiker Hayet sentenced them to two-year imprisonment and fined them Tk10,000 each after a hearing on 14 September.

Expressing concern over the imprisonment of the Odhikar leaders, the US said in a statement on 14 September, “Today’s judgement against Odhikar’s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and Director ASM Nasiruddin Elan may further undermine the willingness of human rights defenders and civil society to play their vital democratic role.”

France and Germany issued a joint statement on 16 September, expressing concern over the imprisonment of Adilur and Elan.

“We regret the Bangladeshi court’s decision regarding Adilur Rahman Khan and ASM Nasiruddin Elan.

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We have expressed our concern to the authorities on this situation and will maintain our dialogue with them on this case,” said the statement.

Adilur and Elan are accused in an ICT case (currently the Cyber Security Act) on charges of “distorted report and doctored images” about police action on a Hefazat-e-Islam rally at Motijheel in the capital on 6 May, 2013.

On 10 August 2013, Adilur was detained after Odhikar published a fact-finding report on extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force to disperse a protest in Bangladesh.

Adilur’s whereabouts remained unknown for several hours until the police filed a case against him under the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006, which was later replaced by the government in 2018 with the Digital Security Act.

He was in custody for 62 days; while Elan, who was detained later, was in custody for 25 days.

Both were on bail till they were sent to jail on 14 September.

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