STATEMENT ON ARIFUR RAHMAN FROM THE CENTER FOR INQUIRY
Published on September 27, 2007
The Center for Inquiry is a nongovernmental educational organization committed to reason, science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas, The Center is active around the world, and holds special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
We strongly condemn the arrest and ongoing detention of the cartoonist Arifur Rahman of the daily newspaper Prothom Alo, which in our estimation is without legal basis. It runs contrary to international norms of human rights as well as the public interest of the nation to inhibit the free exchange of opinions, even those that may cause offense to some.
We call upon the caretaker government of Bangladesh to immediately seek Mr. Rahman's release. Nothing less would be worthy of the secular democratic ethos of the nation's founding.
On a personal note, I can say that having had the pleasure and the privilege to spend some time in the country and to call myself a friend to a number of its citizens, I have found among Bangladeshis a sense of humor and self-reflection that is no less developed than that of any other peoples on this planet. It would be a shame and an injustice if they were to be denied the freedoms of expression that others enjoy.
27 September 2007
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