The ICJ continues to be disappointed over the continued arbitrary detention and refusal of bail of Secretary of human rights organization, Odhikar, and Supreme Court Advocate Adilur Rahman Khan.
The ICJ urged the Bangladeshi authorities to drop their opposition to Adilur Rahman Khan’s bail application.
On 25 September 2013, a cyber crimes tribunal in Dhaka refused Adilur Rahman Khan’s bail application. He had earlier been denied bail on 11 August 2013 and 9 September 2013.
“Adilur Rahman Khan is being arbitrarily detained for his lawful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and his legitimate work as a human rights defender,” said Ben Schonveld, ICJ’s South Asia Director. “What we are seeing is a Government crackdown on voices of dissent.”
Under international law, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bangladesh is a party, there is a presumption of pre-trial release.
A person can only be denied pre-trial release where it is reasonable and necessary in all of the circumstances to prevent absconding, interference with evidence or recidivism.
“The Government cannot show that Adilur Rahman Khan poses a flight risk,” Schonveld added. “In fact, he faces a serious threat of torture and ill-treatment during detention, as documented by Odhikar and other human rights organizations.”
The ICJ reiterates its call on Bangladesh to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Adilur Rahman Khan and Nasiruddin Elan, ensure Adilur Rahman Khan is treated in accordance with international law in custody, and cease its harassment of Odhikar.
Ben Schonveld, ICJ South Asia Director (Kathmandu), t: +977 14432651; email: ben.schonveld(a)icj.orgNewsWeb stories