Amnesty International: Detained Editor Alleges Torture

Detained Bangladeshi newspaper editor Mahmudur Rahman was hospitalised on 18 April. His lawyers say he was tortured in police custody.

On 18 April, Mahmudur Rahman was transferred to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital, after his condition deteriorated following a two day hunger strike. He had been on hunger strike to protest against a ban on the publication of his newspaper and the harassment and detention of some members of its staff. His family say that he has a heart condition. Mahmudur Rahman’s lawyers say that he was tortured whilst in police custody and that they have seen signs of torture on his body. If he is returned to police custody, he will be at risk of further torture.

Mahmudur Rahman was arrested at his office on 11 April after the newspaper he works for, Amar Desh, published articles that criticised the government and some bloggers whose comments were perceived to be blasphemous. On 12 April he was remanded into police custody for 13 days. On 17 April, after 5 days in police custody, during which time his lawyers say he was tortured, he was produced before a magistrate who ordered that he be transferred from police to jail custody. The following day he was sent to hospital. Mahmudur Rahman has been previously detained and tortured for publishing articles critical of the current Awami League government.

Blogger Asif Mohiudeen, arrested on 3 April for allegedly posted blasphemous comments online remains in detention and at risk of torture.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

Calling on the Bangladesh authorities to ensure that Mahmudur Rahman is not transferred to any place of detention in which he would be at risk of further torture, and that Asif Mohiudeen is not subjected to torture or any other ill-treatment;

Calling on the authorities to release Mahmudur Rahman and Asif Mohiudeen or charge them with a recognizably criminal offence and try them promptly in accordance with internationally recognized safeguards;

Calling on the authorities to ensure that attacks against journalists and bloggers are thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice. 

 

Article source: Amnesty International

Image source: Live Mint and the Wall Street Journal