PEN Bangladesh condemns the arrest and death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in his jail cell at the Kashimpur High Security Prison, said a press release.
When Mushtaq fell sick having been denied bail for the sixth time on February 23, he was taken to Gazipur’s Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College Hospital, where doctors declared him dead on February 25.
Writer Musthak Ahmed had been in prison since May last year over a case filed under the Digital Security Act allegedly for “propagating disinformation” against the government on social media.
PEN Bangladesh demands immediate formation of an independent and multilateral probe body to find out the cause of his death and investigate if anyone was responsible for the illness that led to his death, the release said.
PEN Bangladesh represents the Bangladesh chapter of PEN International that upholds freedom of expression across the world. Bangladesh is a country whose very identity is shaped by its historic fight for linguistic, cultural and ideological liberties which are also guaranteed by the country’s Constitution, the release pointed out.
Calling for immediate release of all detainees booked under the Digital Security Act, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore who was arrested along with Mushtaq under the same case, and Ruhul Amin who was arrested on February 26 for protesting the death of Mushtaq, PEN Bangladesh also demands a review and eventual repeal of the DSA.