South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a voluntary people’s organisation, has expressed concern over the High Court’s summoning of Dr Asif Nazrul, a law professor at Dhaka University, for his recent comment on a television talk show about Bangladesh politics.

SAHR noted in a statement that the professor’s comment in no way suggested that any party would come to power by any means, which might have been considered undemocratic and that the comment should not form the basis for a sedition charge.

Prof Nazrul commented at a live talk show on Bangla Vision on March 12 that if the prime minister and the opposition leader were asked who would come to the power next, they would perhaps reply that a third power would.

On March 15, the HC asked him to appear on March 21 to explain this comment, but could not proceed with the rule as a judge of the two-member bench was on leave, and from March 23 the court went on vacation till April 8.

Prof Asif Nazrul is a constitutional law expert and a bureau member of SAHR from Bangladesh. He writes on legal and political issues in newspapers and journals.

SAHR hoped in the statement, signed by its Chairperson Hina Jilani and Co-Chairperson Nimalka Fernando, that the rights to freedom of expression would be respected in this case, and people’s constitutional rights would always be defended by the Bangladesh High Court.

Source: Daily Star (http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=228393) 31/03/2012