They urge the government to carry out a quick and independent probe into the incident, and voiced the concern of their respective governments on the controversial Digital Security Act
Ambassadors and high commissioners of 13 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have expressed grave concern over the death of detained writer Mushtaq Ahmed.
They also urged the government to carry out a quick and independent probe into the incident, and voiced the concern of their respective governments on the controversial Digital Security Act.
"The undersigned Heads of Mission in Dhaka express our grave concern about the death in custody of Mr Mushtaq Ahmed on February 25, 2021," said a joint statement issued by 13 envoys on Friday night.
"Mr Ahmed 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," it said.
"We express our sincere condolences to his family and friends," it added.
The statement further said: "We call on the Government of Bangladesh to conduct a swift, transparent, and independent inquiry into the full circumstances of Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed’s death."
"We will continue to engage with the Government of Bangladesh on our 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," it said.
The envoys who signed the statement are High Commissioner of Canada Benoit Préfontaine, Ambassador of Denmark Winnie Estrup Petersen, Ambassador of the EU Rensje Teerink, Ambassador of France Jean-Marin Schuh, Ambassador of Germany Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador of Italy Enrico Nunziata, Ambassador of the Netherlands Harry Verweij, Ambassador of Norway Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of Spain Francisco de Asis Benitez Salas, Ambassador of Sweden, Alexandra Berg von Linde, Ambassador of Switzerland Nathalie Chuard, High Commissioner of the United Kingdom Robert Chatterton Dickson and Ambassador of the United States of America Earl R Miller.