US State Dept calls for transparent probe into Mushtaq’s death
The US State Department has called on Bangladesh to conduct a transparent investigation into the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed and uphold the right of freedom of expression.
"We are concerned by Bangladeshi writer Mushtaq Ahmed's death in custody while detained under the Digital Security Act," US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price tweeted on Saturday.
"We call on the government of Bangladesh to conduct a transparent investigation and for all countries to uphold the right of freedom of expression," the spokesperson said.
US State Department made this remark a day after 13 heads of foreign missions in Dhaka issued a joint statement over the issue. On Friday, 13 ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in Dhaka 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 of Mushtaq. 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 May 5, 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 said.