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The court has rejected the appeal to place cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore on remand, who has been detained in a case lodged under the Digital Security Act.

Dhaka’s chief metropolitan magistrate Mohammad Jasim passed the order on Sunday.

Cartoonist Kishore’s lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo.

According to the case statements, the Cyber Crime Investigation unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) appealed for a three-day remand of writer Mushtaq Ahmed and cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore for interrogation on 23 February.

The court fixed Sunday (today) as the day of hearing for the appeal. On 25 February, writer Mushtaq Ahmed died in custody. Another accused Ahmed Kabir Kishore was not produced in the court today.

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Lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua told the court that Ahmed Kabir Kishore, who has been detained in a case filed under the Digital Security Act, has been tortured. A charge sheet against him was also submitted to the court. However, the police have once again appealed for his remand, which is against the law. The accused has not been produced in the court. Another accused Mushtaq Ahmed died in prison. The prayer should be rejected.

The court wanted to know from the state why the accused was not produced in the court today. However, the state did not reply to the court. After hearing the both parties, the court rejected the remand prayer for Ahmed Kabir Kishore.

Jyotirmoy Barua said, Ahmed Kabir Kishore has been tortured inhumanly after being arrested in a case filed under the Digital Security Act, which breaches the “Torture and Death in Custody (Prevention) Act, 2013.”

An appeal has been made to the CMM court to produce Ahmed Kabir Kishore in the Dhaka Metropolitan Session Judge court. Ahmed Kabir Kishore wants to file complaints to the court.

In May, last year members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, 'Rashtrachinta' member Didarul Islam and Dhaka Stock Exchange’s director Minhaz Mannan.

RAB filed a case against 11 including those three under the Digital Security Act on the allegations of spreading rumours and conspiratorial discussions against the state through social media.

Two of the accused were released on bail. However, Mushtaq and Kishore’s bail prayers were rejected six times by the court.

Detained cartoonist Kishore is also sick, said his brother Ahsan Kabir.

He told Prothom Alo that Kishore and Mushtaq were produced in Dhaka’s CMM court on 23 February. He saw his brother limping on that day.

Kishore told him that he has been tortured brutally after his arrest, which caused an infection in his leg. There has been pus in his ears too. His diabetic level has also shot up. There have been problems with his eyes too. He is seeing less than the usual. He needs immediate treatment.

On 10 February, Dhaka Cyber Tribunal judge As-Shams Jaglul Hossain ordered for further investigation in the case filed against 11 including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, writer Mushtaq Ahmed and Rashtrachinta activist Didarul.

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Police have recently submitted a charge sheet against cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, writer Mushtaq Ahmed and Rashtrachinta activist Didarul Islam. However, the court did not take the charge sheet submitted by the police into cognisance, and ordered for further investigation of the case. Eight of the accused including Dhaka Stock Exchange director Minhaz, were excluded from the charge sheet.

Other seven accused are – Tasneem Khalil of 'Netra News', expatriate journalist Shahed Alam, German-based blogger Asif Mohiuddin, Zulkarnain Sayer Khan, Ashiq Imran, Swapan Wahid and Philip Schumacher.

They have been accused of using various Facebook accounts for a long time to spread rumours about the father of the nation, the Liberation War of Bangladesh, coronavirus pandemic, and to tarnish the image of the state and the government.

The statement further said that they have committed the crimes of creating confusion, instability and chaos among the people.

Six of the arrestees including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and Mushtaq Ahmed were accused with anti-state post, spreading rumours about coronavirus pandemic, and creating rumours through cartoons of the leaders of the ruling party to create confusion among people from a Facebook page called 'I am Bangladeshi'.

RAB claimed in the statement that they found the involvement of Didarul Islam Bhuiyaan and Minhaz Mannan in the incident through interrogating Mushtaq Ahmed.

Six people made accused for running the Facebook page called 'I am Bangladeshi' are: Sayer Zulkarnain, Ahmed Kabir Kishore, Ashiq Imran, Philip Schumacher, Swapan Wahid and Mushtaq Ahmed.

Expatriate journalist Tasneem Khalil, Shahed Alam, blogger Asif Mohiuddin, Didarul Islam Bhuiyaan and Minhaz Mannan were made accused for personal conversation with them through messenger and Whatsapp.

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