Mushtaq Ahmed, a Bangladeshi writer and journalist, died in custody on Thursday 25th February 2021 after being held in pre-trial detention for nearly ten months. He was just 53 years old. The cause of his death is not immediately clear, but there are allegations of torture. Ahmed was charged with the ‘crime’ of criticising the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Facebook. He was refused bail six times.
We are pleased to see the UK High Commissioner, Mr Robert Chatterton Dickson, sign a joint statement with twelve other OECD ambassadors raising ‘grave concern’ about Ahmed’s death. However, the UK government needs to do more and the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, or the Minister of State for Asia, Nigel Adams, should raise this case directly with their counterparts in Bangladesh.
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