He was arrested in May last year on charges of propagating disinformation against the govt on social media
After being in incarceration for 10 months, cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore has been released from prison after securing bail from the High Court in a Digital Security Act case.
He was released from Gazipur's Kashimpur High Security Jail around 12:20pm on Thursday, Senior Jail Superintendent Md Abdul Jalil told Dhaka Tribune.
"We received the High Court's bail documents around 10am and released him after scrutiny," he said.
Some of Kishore’s friends and family were waiting for him outside the jail. They left with Kishore in a white car.
Ahsan Kabir, Kishore’s elder brother, told Dhaka Tribune over the phone that they were on their way to a hospital for Kishore’s checkup, but declined to name the medical institution.
Kishore was admitted to a private hospital at 6:15pm.
Quoting physicians, Ahsan in a Facebook post said Kishore needed treatment and rest. He also requested everyone to “leave them (the family) alone” so they could live in peace.
Earlier, after walking out of jail, Kishore told the media that he was not in a condition to go home and needed to go to a hospital first.
He also said he was tortured following his arrest. He stated that he was feeling pain in his left leg, which made it difficult for him to walk.
“I was struck on my ear. Pus [fluid discharge] still comes out of it, and I am having hearing problems as a result,” he told a national daily.
He also complained that he was denied treatment in jail, adding that he had diabetes and his blood sugar level had spiked due to not receiving medical attention.
Kishore added that he had become weak and devastated — both mentally and physically.
On Wednesday, the High Court granted a six-month bail to Kishore, who had been detained since May last year following his arrest in a Digital Security Act case initiated by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
The court granted bail to Kishore as he had been behind bars for a long time and a reinvestigation of the case was underway, the judges said.
Mushtaq Ahmed, co-accused in the same case, died in prison on February 25.
Earlier on Sunday, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Jashim rejected a remand petition for Kishore.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua submitted an application before the Dhaka court in which he stated that Kishore had been "inhumanely tortured" since his arrest last year and steps should be taken against those responsible.
In March and April last year, his cartoons, “Life in the Time of Corona”, satirizing the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, were posted on Facebook.
Wednesday’s bail decision came after an outcry from protesters on the streets and social media after writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in jail following a denial of bail for him six times.
Mushtaq was arrested for making comments on social media criticizing the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.