US seeks explanation on arrest of B`desh rights activist

The United States on Tuesday expressed concern over the arrest of a Bangladeshi human rights activist, calling for his immediate release and sought an explanation from the government of Bangladesh in this regard.

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2013, 09:50 AM IST

Washington: The United States on Tuesday expressed concern over the arrest of a Bangladeshi human rights activist, calling for his immediate release and sought an explanation from the government of Bangladesh in this regard.

Rights group Odhikar`s Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan Shuvro, allegedly linked closely with fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested on charges of misleading people by disseminating "false information" about police action against ultra rightwing Hefazat-e-Islam in May.

"The Government of the United States is deeply concerned by the August 10 detention of Adilur Rahman Khan Shuvro, who is the Secretary of the internationally-respected Bangladeshi human rights organisation Odhikar," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said.

"We have reached out to the Government of Bangladesh for an explanation, noting that this detention has a chilling effect on Bangladeshi civil society and is reverberating negatively around the world," Harf said.

"We urge Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release Adil while the government pursues any outstanding legal issues through a fair and transparent judicial process," she said adding that in democracy it is essential that the government ensure an environment in which civil society organisations like Odhikar can freely operate.

Yesterday, Bangladesh`s High Court stayed for six weeks a lower court`s order to send Shuvro on a five-day police remand and ordered his immediate return to jail.

PTI