South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Adilur Rahman Khan, a respected human rights defender in Bangladesh was picked up from his residence in Dhaka on the 10th of August by officers from the Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Mr. A. R. Khan served as the Deputy Attorney General of Bangladesh and is a Senior Lawyer practicing at the Supreme Court. He is also currently the Secretary of Odhikar, a prominent human rights organisation in Bangladesh, known for its critical assessments of human rights in performance and practice, by the Government of Bangladesh.

A statement from Odhikar reads that Mr. A. R. Khan was picked up from in front of his house in Gulshan by approximately 10 plainclothes men, who did not possess an arrest warrant. Yesterday, at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court it was revealed that Mr. A. R. Khan was arrested under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, also under clauses 1 and 2 of Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act of 2006 for publishing false images and information and disrupting the law and order situation of the country.

Odhikar also reports that its office was searched by the Dhaka Police on the 11th of August 2013 where files and documents were inspected before three laptops and two CPUs were seized.

While condemning the illegal arrest, detention and fabricated allegations against its Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan by the Detective Branch of Police, Odhikar urges all concerned to strongly protest the illegal arrest of Adilur Rahman Khan and continue campaigning for his release.

Human Rights watch meanwhile released a statement calling for the release of Mr. A. R Khan, also asking that he be granted regular access to counsel whilst in custody. (Khan was not allowed to speak to lawyers before the August 11 hearing). HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said;

Khan’s prominence suggests that the decision to arrest him was approved at the highest levels. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should publicly and personally ensure that Khan does not suffer any abuse while in detention.’

The Asian Human Rights Commission too, reported the illegal arrest of A. R. Khan, and urged those concerned to write to the Government of Bangladesh, asking for the immediately release of A. R Khan from custody. Further, it was suggested that the Government be asked to ensure that Mr. A. R Khan is neither tortured nor inhumanly treated by the police whilst in custody.

Those interested in appealing can fill in their details here.