Forty-four eminent citizens today demanded unconditional release of folk singer Shariat Boyati, who is now in jail in a case filed on charge of hurting religious sentiment under Digital Security Act.
In a statement, they also expressed grave concern over the imprisonment of Shariat and demanded immediate withdrawal of the case.
Shariat was arrested on January 11 from Tangail's Mirzapur in the case filed by a local Imam under the Digital Security Act, claiming that comment of the singer during a stage performance had hurt his religious sentiment.
"We believe that arresting and imprisoning Shariat Boyati under Digital Security Act is a violation of freedom of expression and international human rights law," they said in the statement.
They also demanded revision of "controversial sections" of the act.
The signatories include noted human rights activists Advocate Sultana Kamal, lawyer and human rights activist Barrister Sara Hossain, Nijera Kori Coordinator Khushi Kabir, Dhaka University teachers Prof Tanzimuddin Khan and Dr Gitiara Nasreen, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman and Manusher Jonno Foundation Executive Director Shahin Anam.