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Press briefing notes on Bangladesh

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Liz Throssell
Location: Geneva
Date: 13 August 2013

We are concerned about the recent arrest of Adilur Rahman Khan, a prominent human rights defender in Bangladesh and urge the Government of Bangladesh to secure his immediate release.

On 10 August, Mr Khan, the director of Odhikar, a well-known human rights organisation in Bangladesh, was arrested at his home in Dhaka by plainclothes officers reportedly acting without a warrant. He is reported to have been arrested under section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, accused of publishing false information about violence by Government forces during demonstrations on 5 and 6 May by the Islamist movement, Hefazat-e-Islami. Odhikar reported that 61 people had died during these protests, challenging the government’s version of events.

On 11 August, Mr Khan was denied bail and ordered to be held on remand for five days. He was allegedly denied access to a lawyer before his court hearing.
We are calling on the Government of Bangladesh to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr Khan, whose arrest might be linked to his work as human rights defender.

ENDS

For further information and media requests, please contact Liz Throssell (+ 41 22 917 9434 / ethrossell@ohchr.org)

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