They stated that the arrest warrant served on Matiur Rahman was needless, as the judicial process could be carried out by summoning a defendant to appear in court
Dr Kamal Hossain, President of Gono Forum, and five top level leaders of the Oikya Front, have expressed their concern over the arrest warrants against Matiur Rahman, editor of Prothom Alo.
In a statement issued on Saturday, they said that the way in which the case was filed against the Prothom Alo editor, was rather strange given several statements made by the top brass of the government.
They stated that the arrest warrant served on Matiur Rahman was needless, as the judicial process could be carried out by summoning a defendant to appear in court.
The Gono Forum and Oikyo Front leaders voiced their worries over the timing of the issue of the arrest warrant as it would limit the scope for the accused to seek justice from the higher court of the country.
It may be recalled that a Dhaka court recently issued a warrant of arrest against Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman, Deputy Editor Anisul Hoque, and eight others, including Kabir Bakul, in a case filed over the death of Dhaka Residential Model College (DRMC) student Nayeemul Abrar.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Kaisarul Islam passed the order on examining a probe report submitted by Mohammadpur police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abdul Alim, the investigation officer (IO) of the case.
On November 1, Nayeemul Abrar, a grade nine non-residential student of DRMC, was electrocuted by a power generator on the school premises in the course of a program organized by Kishor Alo, a supplement of Prothom Alo for young readers.
Among those who signed the statement were standing committee member of BNP Abdul Moyeen Khan, founder secretary general of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) ASM Abdur Rab, convener of Nagorik Oikkya Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Trustee of Gonoshasthaya Kendra Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury and President of Bikalpadhara, Nurul Amin Bepari along with Dr Kamal Hossain.
"Freedom of speech is continuously coming under attack,” the statement read.
They also urged the government to ensure legal rights as they exist in the nation’s legal system for all accused in the case to be treated without any discrimination