Please Release Rakesh Roy
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Ms. Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister, The Government of Bangladesh
Dear Honorable Prime Minister:
We bring to your attention the case of Mr. Rakesh Roy, an activist belonging to the Krishok League and Jatiyo Hindu Oikko Mahajot, who was arrested by the police in Sylhet under false Blasphemy charges filed under ICT Act 57. Mr. Roy was active in protecting Hindu rights against vehement provocation by an extremist named Abdul Aziz. When the police arrested Abdul Aziz a conspiracy was hatched to harass Mr. Roy. We are extremely worried about the wellbeing of Rakesh Roy as he might be undergoing torture under custody. We respectfully urge you to look into the circumstances that led to Mr. Roy’s predicament and hope that he would soon be released.
ICT Act 57 has been used unjustly to harass and jail members of minority communities uncountable number of times. Extremists are finding it easier to provoke the general public into frenzy against Hindus by spreading false rumors and, as a result, an unusual number of Hindus are being rounded up and thrown into jail under the Act 57. One of the best examples is of Rasaraj Das of Nasirnagar who was wrongfully arrested and spent months in jail even after it was clear that the charge against him was false. The Hindus, who are jailed under this obscure law, are marked for life and one of them, who was arrested under Act 57 and later released, was hacked to death by extremists belonging to an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Tanagail. We believe, ICT 57 Act is used against Hindus and other religious and ethnic minorities to settle petty matters and eventually to drive them out of their ancestral homes. We humbly request you to look into the improper implementation of this Act and work for a permanent solution.
Sitangshu Guha, an American Bangladeshi.
New York, 09 June 2017
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