Odhikar’s Adilur, Nasiruddin challenge conviction in HC
An appeal was filed with the High Court today challenging the trial court verdict that sentenced human rights organisation Odhikar Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and its Director ASM Nasiruddin Elan to two years' imprisonment in a case filed under the ICT Act.
The case was filed for running "a distorted report and doctored images" about police action at a Hefajat-e-Islam rally in Motijheel on May 5-6, 2013.
Adilur and Nasiruddin submitted the appeal through their lawyers to the section concerned of the HC seeking to scrap the lower court verdict on them and to acquit them of the charges.
Citing the appeal, Md Ruhul Amin Bhuiyan, the principal counsel for Adilur and Nasiruddin, told The Daily Star that they have filed the appeal as the prosecution has completely failed to prove the charges brought against his clients.
The trial court has convicted and sentenced Adilur and Nasiruddin on the basis of the statement from the second investigation officer (IO) without sufficient documents and evidence, which is absolutely illegal, he said.
"The second IO has stated that he procured the evidence against Adilur and Nasiruddin on June 6 this year. But all the laptops and devices of Odhikar office were seized after the case was filed on August 10, 2013," said the senior counsel.
Lawyer Ruhul Amin Bhuiyan said a petition will be moved before the HC seeking bail for Adilur and Nasiruddin when the appeal hearing is held.
He said the appeal hearing would be held at a convenient time.
On September 14 this year, a Dhaka court delivered the verdict against Adilur and Nasiruddin in the case lodged under the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act.
On that day, the trial court cancelled their bail and ordered them to be sent to jail with conviction warrants and fined each of them Tk 10,000, in default of which they would have to serve one more month in jail.
On June 10, 2013, the Detective Branch of police filed a general diary with the Gulshan Police Station in this connection, which was later converted into a case.
Detectives arrested Adilur from Gulshan on August 10, 2013, shortly after filing the GD which said the rights body on its website ran a false report titled "Assembly of Hefajat-e Islam Bangladesh and Human Rights Violation".
"The report tarnished the images of the country, the government, and the law enforcement agencies," read the GD.
The Odhikar's report claimed that 61 people died in the wee hours of May 6 when the law enforcers flushed several thousand Hefajat activists out of the Shapla Chattar in the capital's Motijheel.
The government put the number of deaths at 13.
On August 11, 2013, police raided Odhikar's Gulshan office and seized three laptops and two desktop computers.
After probing the case, the DB on September 4, 2013, pressed charges against Adilur and Nasiruddin.