Thirteen heads of foreign missions in Bangladesh have expressed grave concern over the death in custody of writer Mushtaq Ahmed, who died in Kashimpur jail on Thursday, and called on the government to conduct an enquiry.
Mushtaq had been held in pre-trial detention since May 5, 2020, under the provisions of the Digital Security Act (DSA).
"We understand that he had been denied bail on several occasions and that concerns had been raised about his treatment while he was imprisoned," said the joint statement yesterday, expressing condolences to his family and friends.
"We call on the government of Bangladesh to conduct a swift, transparent, and independent enquiry into the full circumstances of Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed's death."
The statement said they would continue to engage with the government on their governments' wider concerns about the provisions and implementation of the DSA, as well as questions about its compatibility with Bangladesh's obligations under international human rights laws and standards.
The signatories to the statement are Canadian High Commissioner Benoit Préfontaine, Danish Ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen, EU Ambassador Rensje Teerink, French Ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh, German Ambassador Peter Fahrenholtz, Italian Ambassador Enrico Nunziata, Dutch Ambassador Harry Verweij, Norwegian Ambassador Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Spanish Ambassador Francisco de Asis Benitez Salas, Swedish Ambassador Alexandra Berg von Linde, Swiss Ambassador Nathalie Chuard, UK High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson and US Ambassador Earl R Miller.