Dhaka – The High Court has granted a six-month bail to cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore nearly 10 months after he was arrested under the controversial Digital Security Act, officials said on Wednesday.
The High Court Bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order on a petition filed on the defendant’s behalf. The petitioner sought bail on health ground after a writer, Mustaq Ahmed, 53, who was also arrested on the same charges, died inside the prison last week.
The writer’s death in jail stirred protest again against the Digital Security Act of 2018 as the demonstrators demanded scrapping of the Act, which the protesters call a law against the spirit of freethinking and freedom of speech.
Kishore, Mustaq and another person were arrested in May last year over the charges of deteriorating law and order situation and creating confusion over Covid-19 pandemic through their social media posts.
Kishore’s lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua said there is no legal bar for his client to get released. He said the court granted him bail for six months and it is clear that he can be releases from the jail if he is not arrested in any other case.
The defence pleaded before the court that Kishore informed he was tortured in custody and that his right ear was nearly impaired and a scar had developed on his left leg.
Eleven people, including Kishore, writer Mushtaq Ahmed and Rashtrochinta activist Didarul Islam Bhuiyan, were prosecuted under the controversial law by the Rapid Action Battalion, The battalion officer Abu Bakar Siddique on filed the case after Kishore and Mushtaq were arrested on May 5.
Didarul was arrested on the following day.
Police pressed charges against Kishore, Mushtaq and Didarul, dropping the names of the eight others, on January 11, 2021 with the cyber tribunal asking the investigators for further probe against all the accused.
Didarul was granted bail in September last year. Mushtaq died in custody on February 25 and Kishore has been behind bars for 10 months as their bail petitions were previously rejected for six times.