We Demand The Immediate Release Of Arifur Rahman

We demand the immediate release of Cartoonist Arifur Rahman

I join Bangladeshi blogger Sourov’s call for the immediate and unconditional release of 23-year old cartoonist Arifur Rahman. Arifur Rahman was arrested by the Bangladesh military government for drawing a harmless cartoon that was published in the leading Bengali language newspaper Prothom Alo. He was not represented by any lawyer in court and sent to jail without any due process.

Reporters Without Borders has called for the immediate release of Arifur Rahman:

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediately release of Arifur Rahman, a cartoonist with Aalpin, the daily newspaper Prothom Alo’s weekly satirical supplement. He was arrested at his Dhaka home on 17 September over a cartoon that was a play on the name Mohammed. The government’s press department said the cartoon "hurt religious sentiments." All copies of the supplement were seized. Prothom Alo apologised and fired the supplement’s deputy editor.

"The play on words had no intention of attacking the Prophet," Reporters Without Borders said "It was a joke about a cultural custom. The government should not yield to pressure from extremist leaders who are trying to politicise the case. Rahman should not be made a scapegoat. He must be freed."

I stand in solidarity with Arifur Rahman. He must be freed.

[Join the Facebook group Free Arifur Rahman]


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23 Responses to We Demand The Immediate Release Of Arifur Rahman

  1. ZaFa says:

    I’m with you Mash, and all others who can’t find any harm done by Arifur Rahman.

  2. zulfikar ali says:

    we can’t let the fundamentalist rule our country and make Bangladesh a taliban nation. why is barrister moinul so much involve in this case? you got my support to free Arifur Rahman.

  3. khanna says:

    No one is above the law. Unconditional something is not a democratic word rather more of a dictatorship type word.u r talking about democracy in the shape of dictatorship which was also followed by both of our leaders Khaleda and Hsina. Please don’t say like that. Then u cheats with you.

    We should of course ask for Mr. Arif tobe freed if he is not found guilty for initializing some sort of conspiracy.

  4. AsifY says:

    Mr. Khanna,

    If tomorrow, some Western government arrests you on suspicion of some “conspiracy” and keeps you incarcerated without lawyers, I hope you will have the decency not to protest their “inhuman” treatment.

  5. AsifY says:

    No one is above the law…. ar jaiga paan na ei shob platitude charar!! No one being above the law also means that no one is below it. THE POST CLEARLY SAYS THE MAN HAD NO LAWYER REPRESENTING HIM! If that is the law, then it’s time for a change in such unfair laws.

  6. Tanoy says:

    I am with you too

  7. manush says:

    It is very unfortunate that arifur is being held in jail for drawing a harmless cartoon.

    The more scary part is that that he did not have lawyer during his trial. I don’t think it is the case that no lawyer was allowed, i think it more of a case that no lawyer wanted to represent him in fear of backlash from all these militant islamic parties.

    I heard that imams in the mosque are telling people to avoid prothom-alo because it is supposedly continuing it’s anti-islamic propanganda even after saying sorry for the harmless cartoon.

  8. Hasib says:

    I think Mr.Arif knew exactly that the primitive Mollah community of Bangladesh would react the way they did and doing now.

    I believe this protest by Mollas will go on until they find another ridiculous cause to switch to. I mean this was not unpredictable, was it?
    The CTG will eventually release Mr. Arif just like they did with Mr.Tasneem Khalil and he will get asylum in some Scandanavian country just like him where he will live happily ever after. It seems all so well planned to get out of the country.

  9. Mash says:

    Hasib, let me see, where have I heard a similar sentiment before…oh yes, now I remember, I heard it from General Pervez Musharraf, the thug of Pakistan. Listen to the good General describe to the Washington Post how women in Pakistan get raped to make money and become famous.

    You are in good company. How pathetic.

  10. Aunameeka says:

    Just found your excellent blog. The plight of this young cartoonist has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind since I read of his arrest. The apology issued by the various newspapers and published recently in the Daily Star is very telling of the “culture of fear” that you write about. I’d like to know when an apology will be issued by the powers that be for the lawlessness that has consumed the lives of women, children, minorities, the poor and the weak in our beloved BD. I may have to wait a long time… Please let us know how we can help.
    Keep up the good fight!

  11. Mash says:

    Aunameeka, I think we just need to keep Arif’s name from disappearing into the ether. It is a sign of how bad things are that they have arrested him for this silly cartoon.

    Btw, great name (or, rather no name). “Aunameeka” has got to be my favorite word in Bengali. It just doesnt translate well into English – loses all its charm 🙂

  12. Farhad Arif says:

    Free Arifur Rahman.

  13. linkon says:

    We are confused about the caretaker govt.I think many adviser of the caretaker govt. are reactionist.As though I want to like free Arifur Rahaman.

  14. Chandan says:

    What a shame that Mr Arifur Rahman is in jail while the mass murderers roam free in the streets. We all bear certain responsibilities in this regard.

    Free Arifur Rahman immediately.

  15. Syed Hasan Anjan says:

    Cartoonist Areef is a victim of a group of religous thugs who lacks the mental ability to understand a simple cartoon. Freem him now.

  16. Quader Mahmud says:

    Freedom of thought and freedom of expression of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of a writer, a painter -a cartoonist are fundamental to human rights of a free citizen of a free country. Areef is an glaring example that Bangladesh lacks many of the human rights that a free citizen of a free country enjoys.

    I will be astounded if he were not yet freed. I demand that the regime in Bangladesh immediately frees him, and should there be any charges at all, let him stand trial and defend his rights in a court of law.

  17. rana hasan says:

    our should kill him. he is kind of bec…

  18. rana hasan says:

    our goverment should kill him. he is kind of bec…

  19. andar909 says:

    hi, andar here, i just read your post. i like very much. agree to you, sir.

  20. Gita Olay says:

    We had EXACTLY the same thing going around in Europe in November, though back then, no cause was attached to it. It was just to “cherish our childhood memories”.

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