New York: Bangladesh authorities made a series of new arrests in their crackdown on the right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said on Friday. The arrests were based on vague charges such as “hurting religious sentiment” or undermining “law and order”. Those arrested include Abdul Kaium, a human rights activist, Henry Sawpon, a well-known poet, and Imtiaz Mahmood, a lawyer. All three were detained and charged under section 57 of the draconian Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Act or its more abusive successor, the Digital Security Act 2018. “Arresting activists, poets, and lawyers for exercising their right to free speech is straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
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