Ariful was reportedly physically abused while in custody
There can be no justification for what was done to Dhaka Tribune journalist Ariful Islam in the middle of the night, early Saturday. It was an abuse of power, plain and simple, with disregard for due process, the rule of law, and basic human rights.
Ariful, district correspondent for this newspaper based in Kurigram, was picked up from his home around 12:30am, and sent to jail by a mobile court which was set up at the Kurigram deputy commissioner’s office.
All of this was done upon flimsy allegations that his family has vehemently denied, as this case is an egregious example of due process not being followed by our law enforcement.
First, it is not within a mobile court’s purview to hand out a sentence like this. They are simply not allowed to do so by law, and so have clearly overstepped their authority.
Second, the court claimed there were drugs in Ariful’s possession, but if that is the case, why was his door knocked down in the dead of night?
Then there is the matter of physical abuse. Upon breaking down his door, Ariful was beaten by people in Ansar uniforms. Furthermore, Ariful was reportedly physically abused while in custody.
There can be little doubt that Ariful was a victim of brutality at the hands of law enforcement officials, as well as custodial abuse. This must be investigated, and the true culprits brought to book, because in no shape or form does the law condone such acts.
A clear picture has emerged whereby a journalist, and a citizen, has been unjustly incarcerated by influential quarters with vested interest, his rights violated. This cannot stand.