Bangladesh: Pardons of teachers not enough

Amnesty International welcomed the pardon and release of three Dhaka university professors but said they should never have been charged in the first place.

Amnesty International considered the Dhaka University lectures to be prisoners of conscience and had been calling for their immediate and unconditional release. The professors were held without bail since last August on charges of inciting violence.

“Charges should never have been brought against the Rajshahi and Dhaka University professors in the first place,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“The arrest and prosecution of the Rajshahi and Dhaka University professors are illustrative of the manner in which emergency regulations are open to abuse in cases involving the right to peaceful protest.”

“The restrictions imposed through the Emergency Powers Rules (EPRs) exceed what is permissible under international law. The current rules and restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and association are too widely framed and are being selectively applied.”

Amnesty International calls on the Caretaker Government to urgently review and amend the restrictions on rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association invoked under the state of emergency.

For further information go to: One Year On: Human Rights in Bangladesh under the State of Emergency