Cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore

The injury to cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore’s right ear is serious. His eardrum or tympanic membrane has been ruptured. He will need a special hearing aid if he is to hear with this ear. Then six months later, physicians will observe his condition and decide on the next steps to be taken.

The physicians made these observations on Sunday after carrying out various tests, Kishore’s elder brother Ahsan Kabir told Prothom Alo. He said due to uncontrolled diabetes while he was in jail, Kishore’s eyes has been affected too. He requires eye surgery. His diabetes is still not under control entirely and his blood pressure is not normal either.

Ahsan Habib said that Ahmed Kabir Kishore was trained as a naval cadet and had built up considerable mental strength. That is why even though the torture has affected his physically, he is as mentally strong as before.

After his release on Thursday, cartoonist Kishore told Prothom Alo that 69 hours before he was actually shown to be arrested, he had been picked up from his residence in Kakrail by a group of people. When he was placed in the vehicle, a cap was pulled over his eyes and he was handcuffed. He was taken to an unknown place where he was interrogated and physically tortured.

RAB-3 had filed a case under the Digital Security Act with Ramna police station on 5 May last year against 11 persons including cartoonist Kishore, writer and businessman Mushtaq Ahmed, Rashtrochinta member Didarul Islam Bhuiyan and Dhaka Stock Exchange’s former director Minhaz Mannan. Didarul and Minhaz had been granted bail. Mushtaq died in jail on the night of 25 February this year. After that, the High Court granted Kishore bail and he was released from the Kashimpur jail on Thursday. He was then admitted to a private hospital in the capital city.

In the case filed by RAB, the accused had been charged with opening a Facebook page called ‘I am Bangladeshi’ which was allegedly used to tarnish the image and reputation of the state.

It was said that the objective of the accused persons was to upload various posts to spread rumours, despite knowing these to be false propaganda and also to disrupt law and order.

On 11 January, the Ramna police submitted the charge sheet against Mushtaq, Kishore and Didarul to court and recommended that they others be acquitted. Later, in response to the appeal submitted by the public prosecution, the court directed that further investigations into the case. The police’s counter terrorism and transnational crime unit have been given the responsibility for this investigation.