Some 47 eminent citizens of the country in a joint statement today voiced condemnation and protest over a case filed against the Prothom Alo editor and others in connection with the death of Naimul Abrar Rahat, a student of Dhaka Residential Model College.
“We consider this case to be motivated based on the manner in which various important government persons have made statements regarding this case, and the manner in which the Editor of Prothom Alo has been implicated in this case,” they said.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued an arrest warrant against 10 persons including Prothom Alo Editor, Motiur Rahman, impecating them in the case, they said.
Even though the legal proceedings could have continued with issuance of a summons in this case, an arrest warrant has been issued, they said in the statement.
By issuing the arrest warrant a few hours before the weekly holiday, the opportunity to seek protection from the higher court has been significantly reduced, the eminent citizen said.
There is no way of considering this case as separate from the attacks one after another on freedom of expression in the country, the statement read.
Abrar, a ninth-grader, was electrocuted during the anniversary programme of Prothom Alo’s youth magazine Kishor Alo on November 1 last year.
Professor emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, former advisor to the caretaker government M Hafizuddin Khan, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, rights activist Sultana Kamal, former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain, rights activist Hameeda Hossain, economist Debapriya Bhattacharya, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman, rights activist Badiul Alam Majumdar, lawyer ZI Khan Panna, local government specialist Tofail Ahmed, lawyer Shahdeen Malik, health rights activist Zafrullah Chowdhury, economist Anu Muhammad, rights activist Khushi Kabir, universities teachers--Sumaiya Khair, CR Abrar, Ali Riaz, Shahnaj Huda, Asif Nazrul, Gitiara Nasreen, Firdous Azim, Robaet Ferdous, Sayeed Ferdous,--researcher Swapan Adnan, lawyer Sara Hossain, rights activists Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Rahnuma Ahmed, photographer Shahidul Alam, rights activist Farida Akhter, Parwin Hassan, rights activist Shireen Haq, Maleka Begum, Mirza Taslima Sultana, lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, Faustina Pereira, Omar Tareque Chowdhury, child neurologist Naila Zaman Khan, Jakir Hossain, Nur Khan Liton, Golam Mortoza, Hasnat Kayum, Rezaur Rahman Lenin, Arup Rahee, Hasibur Rahman, Sinthia Farid and rights activist Hana Shams Ahmed are among the eminent citizens.