Fifty-one eminent citizens today demanded a judicial probe into writer Mushtaq Ahmed's death in custody. They have also asked for the probe report to be made public.
Issuing a joint statement, the citizens said there are allegations that Mushtaq was imprisoned unreasonably and was pushed to death as a consequence of gradual mental torture.
Mushtaq, who was arrested under DSA, died in Kashimpur High Security Jail-3 in Gazipur on Thursday.
They demanded immediate release of and withdrawal of case against seven students detained by police on Friday during a rally protesting Mushtaq's death in the capital's Shahbagh.
They have also demanded release of and withdrawal of case against labour leader Ruhul Amin of Khulna who was held by detectives and shown arrested under the DSA on Saturday allegedly for uploading a post on social media supporting the protest against Mushtaq's death.
The citizens further demanded medical compensation for those injured in the "police attack during Friday's protest in Shahbagh and punishment of the culprits."
They said both cases filed against the seven students under the Penal Code-1860 and against Ruhul Amin under DSA are "unjust, indiscreet and repressive".
They further demanded abolishment of the "repressive" Digital Security Act and withdrawal of all cases filed under the act.
The citizens demanded release of ailing cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, also arrested under DSA, on bail for better treatment, citing the cartoonist was allegedly tortured in custody.
The signatories include Prof Anu Muhammad of Jahangirnagar University, author Rahnuma Ahmed, Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra Zafrullah Chowdhury, rights activist Khushi Kabir, women's rights activist Farida Aktar, Human rights activist Shaheen Anam, researcher Shapan Adnan, Vice-President of Global Center for Advanced Studies in New York, USA Azfar Hussain, Prof Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University, rights activist Nur Khan, rights activist Shireen Huq, and international relations expert Prof CR Abrar.