Mia Seppo summoned over Abrar murder statement


Dhaka, October 13: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday summoned UN Resident Coordinator here Mia Seppo  apparently to seek explanation regarding UN statement over the murder of Buet student Abrar Fahad.

The ministry also explained the government position and the “prompt actions” taken so far and being taken since the killing.

Seppo spent over half an hour with Director General of the UN Wing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nahida Sobhan from 11am, said a source at the ministry.

She, however, did not make any comment after the meeting.

Seppo was conveyed that Abrar killing should not be tagged with the issues of any freedom of expression.

Another official said it was part of regular meetings, and both discussed various issues, including that of Abrar Fahad murder.

Bangladesh made two things clear to the UNRC at the meeting saying the government did not stop anybody from expressing their views on various platforms, said sources at the ministry.

Following the murder of Abrar, the UN in a statement said it deplores the killing of a young Buet student, “allegedly for freely expressing his views.”

Abrar Fahad, 21, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering, was beaten to death on October 7 reportedly by Chhatra League leaders at Buet’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall.

Abrar’s father, Barkatullah, filed a case with Chawkbazar Police Station on Monday evening against 19 people. So far, 19 people, including 14 FIR-listed accused, have been arrested in the case.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government wants to maintain academic atmosphere in all the educational institutions of the country and will not tolerate any act of unjust and injustice.

“Our message is very clear…we won’t tolerate any act of unjust and injustice. We never did that in past and won’t do either in the future. We’ll take action against whoever will commit any act of unjust and injustice. The academic atmosphere must be maintained in all the educational institutions,” she said.

The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh in a statement on Wednesday said freedom of speech is a human right, and nobody should be harassed, tortured or killed for exercising it.

“The UN Bangladesh noted steps taken by the authorities to apprehend alleged perpetrators,” the statement reads, adding “It encourages independent investigations that should lead to justice being served in a fair process, and measures to ensure prevention of further incidents.”

It mentioned that campus violence in Bangladesh has over the years affected and claimed too many lives, with apparent impunity for those bearing responsibility.