ARTICLE 19 happy over bail of science teacher Hriday Mandal

ARTICLE 19 has called on the authorities to ensure the safety of Hriday Mandal and his family after his release on bail, to reinstate him in service and to withdraw the case against him.

The human rights organization focusing on the defence and promotion of freedom of expression expressed relief, as the Munshiganj additional district and sessions judge court today granted bail to detained science teacher Hriday Chandra Mondal of Binodpur Ram Kumar High School under Sadar Upazila in the district in a case filed over “hurting religious sentiment”.

Earlier, Hriday was denied bail twice—once on March 23 and again on March 28.

He was arrested on March 22, 2022, for allegedly insulting religion after he discussed in the classroom the distinction between religion and science.

Following the incident, the school authorities suspended him from his job as well.

In a statement sent to the media on Sunday, Faruq Faisel, Regional Director for ARTICLE 19 South Asia, said the reason Hriday Mandal had to go to jail is very shocking.

“This incident threatened the concept of academic freedom which included free thought, freedom of expression and dissent in educational institutions. This will create an atmosphere of fear in the minds of all teachers, and science-minded people in the country. At the same time, the reaction of the students to the incident shows that in the education system of the country, tolerance, reasoning, and respect for dissent are not given importance, which is essential for building an inclusive, knowledge-based, tolerant and democratic society. This suggests that the incident should be considered as a wakeup call.’’

Source: United News of Bangladesh