Urgent Action: Professor Sacked, Threatened (Bangladesh: UA 129.20)

September 16, 2020

Professor Md. Morshed Hasan Khan faces trumped-up sedition charges and has had his professorial position at Dhaka University terminated for publishing an opinion editorial in a national newspaper. Professor Morshed has received multiple death threats from unidentified people, and is being denied access to his campus residence, where his wife – who is a cancer patient – resides. In 2019 alone, at least 1,325 people were detained in 732 cases filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA). If found guilty, Professor Morshed could face life imprisonment.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 129.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

President Abdul Hamid
People’s Republic of Bangladesh
President’s Office
Bangabhaban, Dhaka-1000
Bangladesh
Fax: +88-02-9585502
Email: [email protected] [email protected]
Ambassador Mohammad Ziauddin
Embassy of Bangladesh
3510 International Drive NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 244 0183
Fax: 202 244 2771 | 7830
Contact form: https://bit.ly/2FzcITR
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Your Excellency,

I am concerned about the harassment, intimidation and targeting of Professor Md. Morshed Hasan Khan, professor of the Department of Marketing, at the Dhaka University Syndicate, simply for publishing his opinion in a newspaper. He has been dismissed from his position at the Dhaka University, charged with sedition and threatened with death. It is alarming that an academic is facing life imprisonment merely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

Accused of “distorting” the history of war of independence and the post-war political situation in Bangladesh, Professor Morshed has been dismissed on the grounds of “moral turpitude” or “inefficiency” under Rule56(3) of Dhaka University Order 1973, despite procedural flaws in the conducts of the Enquiry Committee.

In addition, Professor Morshed is also being charged with sedition under section 124A of Bangladesh Penal Code 1860 for merely sharing his opinion. A charge such as this is inconsistent with international human rights law and constitutes a violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bangladesh is a state party. Furthermore, I find it deeply disturbing to learn that Professor Morshed has reportedly been threatened with death by unidentified persons over phone and on social media. He is being forced to stay out of his campus residence, where his wife – a cancer patient – still resides.

In order to protect the safety and security of Professor Morshed, uphold his right to freedom of expression, and to remedy the procedural flaws in his dismissal, I call on you to ensure Professor Morshed Hasan Khanand his family’s safety and security; immediately reverse Professor Morshed Hasan Khan’s dismissal and reinstate him to his position; immediately drop all charges brought against Professor Morshed Hasan Khan under Section 124A, Bangladesh Penal Code; and respect, protect, and fulfil the right to freedom of expression and academic freedom;

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES