Bangladesh: immediately release human rights defender Nasiruddin Elan

The ICJ is calling on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nasiruddin Elan, Director of the human rights group Odhikar.

Odhikar is an affiliate organization of the ICJ.

On 6 November 2013, a Dhaka cyber crimes tribunal rejected Nasiruddin Elan’s bail application and ordered his detention in Dhaka Central Jail.

Nasiruddin Elan (in the middle on the picture) has been accused of distorting information, presenting false evidence and manipulating photographs of a Government crackdown on a rally by Hefazat-e-Islam, an Islamist political organization, in May this year.

The action reportedly resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. Odhikar had reported that 61 protestors were killed by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police. The Government contests the number of casualties.

“What we are seeing is a continuing unlawful attack on Odhikar and voices critical of the Government,” said Ben Schonveld, ICJ’s South Asia Director. “Nasiruddin Elan is being arbitrarily detained for the lawful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and his legitimate work as a human rights defender.”

“The Government should immediately drop its opposition to Nasiruddin Elan’s bail application,” he added. “We are concerned that he will be one of the many detainees who faces torture and ill-treatment during detention, as documented by Odhikar and other human rights organizations.”

Bangladesh-Elan arrest statement-news-web story-2013 (full text in pdf)


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