OECD envoys appalled by Mushtaq’s death in custody; demand inquiry, answers

Thirteen Ambassadors and High Commissioners stationed in Dhaka on Friday urged the government of Bangladesh to conduct a "swift, transparent, and independent inquiry" into the full circumstances of writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in police custody.

The diplomats of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries with missions in Bangladesh made the call in a joint statement expressing their grave concerns over the death. The OECD is a grouping of 37 advanced economies.

"The undersigned Heads of Mission in Dhaka express our grave concern about the death in custody of Mushtaq Ahmed on 25 February 2021," reads the joint statement.

Ahmed had been held in pre-trial detention since 5 May 2020 under the provisions of the Digital Security Act (DSA).

"We understand that he had been denied bail on several occasions and that concerns had been raised about his treatment while he was imprisoned," the statement said.

The diplomats expressed their sincere condolences to his family and friends.

"We will continue to engage with the Government of Bangladesh on our Governments’ wider concerns about the provisions and implementation of the DSA, as well as questions about its compatibility with Bangladesh’s obligations under international human rights laws and standards," said the diplomats.

Source: United News of Bangladesh