The German and the French embassy in Dhaka have expressed concern over the conviction of Odhikar secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and its director ASM Nasiruddin Elan in a joint statement today, Saturday.
It said, “Germany and France are deeply attached to respect for the rule of law as well as to the democratic acquis in Bangladesh. They will continue to support defenders of human rights in Bangladesh, like throughout the world.”
“We regret the Bangladeshi court's decision regarding Adilur Rahman Khan and ASM Nasiruddin Elan. We have expressed our concern to the authorities on this situation and will maintain our dialogue with them on this case,” the statement reads.
It further says, “We recall that Adilur Rahman Khan, on behalf of the human rights organisation Odhikar, was the 2017 recipient of the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. A vibrant civil society is essential to the prosperity of every nation.”
Earlier on Thursday, Dhaka's cyber tribunal had sentenced Adilur Rahman Khan to two years imprisonment under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. Nasiruddin was also given a two-year prison sentence under the same act.
A total of 72 human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, issued a statement calling upon Bangladesh to release Adilur and ASM Nasiruddin unconditionally on the same day.