Protests as lawyer alleges RAB torture after arrest at Supreme Court premises

By | March 14, 2021

Abdul Matin Khasru, the newly elected president of Supreme Court Bar Association, says charges will be brought against the people responsible for the incident.

Speaking at a rally outside the association’s office in Dhaka on Sunday, the former law minister also demanded that Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and Inspector General of Police Benazir Ahmed take steps to identify the perpetrators and “ensure their exemplary punishment”.

The RAB said in a case at Chawkbazar Police Station on charges of assault on the law enforcers that they arrested lawyer Ibrahim Khalil at Sadarghat on Mar 11 night.

When they produced him in court on Friday, Khalil alleged that the RAB personnel actually arrested him at the Supreme Court premises on Mar 10 and tortured him at an unknown location.

Ibrahim Khalil

Ibrahim Khalil

Khalil was freed on bail on Sunday, said Ruhul Quddus Kazal, secretary of the SCBA.

Khasru said at the rally that the RAB personnel committed punishable criminal offence by “torturing a lawyer after arresting him inside the boundary of the Supreme Court”.

“They (RAB) could have informed the Bar Association or the honourable chief justice. He (Khalil) is not a thief or robber. He is not fleeing.

“He could have been arrested at his home. It wasn’t prudent to arrest him at the premises of the court. It’s illegal, audacious and unforgivable,” added the SCBA president.

He said lawyers are not above the law and cannot evade trial if they commit a crime, but those torturing a lawyer and arresting him at court premises must face punishment.

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“Please identify them (perpetrators) and try them after suspension. They have lost the right to be in the law-enforcing agency,” Khasru said, addressing the home minister and the IGP.

He said he would talk to Home Minister Kamal on the issue. “An entire force’s image cannot be damaged by a single member.”

A former law minister of the Awami League government, he said he would propose a law to protect lawyers.

In a statement, SCBA Secretary Kazal condemned the incident saying the charges against Khalil were “conspiratorial” and “ridiculous”.

‘TORTURE IN CAPTIVITY’

Enayet Hossain, a sub-inspector at RAB-10, started the case against Khalil accusing the lawyer of beating up members of the force and obstructing government duty.

He was produced in the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrates Court on Mar 12 following, according to the case, his arrest in the Sadarghat the previous day.

The RAB sought court orders to send him to jail while some colleagues of Khalil petitioned for his bail. The court kept the bail petition for hearing on Sunday, sending the lawyer to jail pending the start of the trial.

Khalil talked to his colleagues at the court premises at that time. They filmed his statement and released the video which went viral on Facebook.

In the video, Khalil can been seen saying the RAB personnel picked him up from the court premises on Mar 10 and tortured him after making him senseless by injecting drugs at an unknown location.

Later, they took him to their camp on the bank of the Buriganga river at Sadarghat, he said. 

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They took him out again and attempted to throw him into the river from the First Buriganga Bridge by tying his hands and legs, according to Khalil.

The RAB members tortured him and he bears signs of their brutality on his entire body, the lawyer claimed.

He also alleged that he had no problem with the law enforcers, who acted against him for “someone else”.

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