Recent photographs have emerged of alleged opposition members being taken to court in Dhaka, with visible signs of having faced abuse and torture at the hands of law enforcers while in police custody. The photographs show the five students, who had previously arrested from Mohakhali in Dhaka on the 20th of January, being brought to court in chains and shackles. One of the students is seen to be grimacing in apparent pain as the police accompany him through court premises, while another photograph of him shows visible signs of abuse on his feet, in what appears to be torture via the removal of toenails, as evidenced by the bandaged feet. The photographs, which were seen to be widely circulating on social media, have fueled widespread criticism of the draconian torture and interrogation methods police are said to employ against alleged opposition members, in violation of national and international basic human rights norms.
Five day remand granted against the 5 students:
A Dhaka court yesterday placed 5 students, arrested from capital’s Mohakhali TB gate on the 20th of January, on a five day remand after refusing their bail application. Metropolitan Magistrate Md Asaduzzaman Nur passed the order after Banani Thana Police produced them before the court with a 10-day remand prayer. Md Azmat Hussain applied for bail on behalf of the alleged defendants; however, the Court passed the contrary order after concluding the hearing process from both sides. The five who received the order to be remanded are Mustafizur Rahman, Joynal Abedin, Arifuzzaman Arif, Atiur Rahman and Khalid Saifullah.
During the hearing the lawyer representing the defendants submitted before the Court that the arrested ones are not in any way connected with the seized explosives. Police arrested them late at night from their Mohakhali TB gate living quarters. The lawyer further noted that all of them were innocent students who had been made the subject of a series of fabricated allegations. They were not in possession of the explosives or any materials to produce such items. The fabricated story was being presented before Court to have them falsely accused of vicious conduct. He maintained that since none of them were associated with any of the alleged crimes they should be released on bail. He also prayed that the court should not impose any remand upon them.
The prosecution, on the other hand, informed the Court that they had being seized in possession of explosives including crude bombs with the intention to transmit violence in the city and this should render the Court to allow a spate of remand for 10 days. The Court, while accepting the argument laid down by the Prosecution, imposed five day remand on the five activists.
Earlier, on the morning of 20 January, the students were paraded in front of media, and photographs were taken of the group of five, with cocktail bombs displayed in front of them, after being arrested at around 2.30am on 20 January, 2015. The families of the students have maintained that not only are they innocent, but that the government has set a plot accusing them of false and deplorable allegations, when their attire at the time of arrest was clearly indicative of their arrest while they had been sleeping. The families of the arrested demanded the immediate release and return of the five students back to their relatives.