Mehdi Hasan, a student of HSC and affiliated to the opposition was arrested in the past few hours from Chatkhil in Noakhali. Family and friends report that Detective Branch police took him away this evening around 8pm local time.
Hasan, aged 18, recently completed his HSC examinations and was in preparation for university entry. He is the eldest in his family. Hasan’s father passed away two years ago, leaving him head of the household. His family home has reportedly been the subject of police raids on several occasions. In line with recent trends following arrest, family and friends have expressed concerns for Hasan’s safety and life. They have appealed for his release stating there were no charges against him and he is merely targeted for his political affiliations.
A recent rise in extrajudicial executions have meant that dozens of opposition affiliated individuals have been arrested in recent weeks by police, who later deny any arrest. The bullet-ridden body of the arrestees have subsequently been found at morgues. Torture in custody is also common practice.
Recent weeks have also witnessed a surge in arrests of teenage and underage individuals associated to the opposition, which has been met with condemnation. Last week, 15 year old SSC examinee, Rifat Abdullah Khan, the son of Dhaka Jamaat-e-Islami in charge, Rafiqul Islam, was arrested from his home and tortured in custody. He has since been handed three days remand in the midst of his SSC examinations and remains behind bars.
Bangladeshi law does not require Police to present an arrest warrant to arrest individuals. Mass arrests have taken place amid allegations of abuse of power, particularly in recent weeks following the opposition blockade campaign calling for fresh elections. 17,000 opposition arrests reportedly took place in January alone.