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.
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. I ask you to immediately reverse Professor Morshed Hasan Khan’s dismissal and reinstate him to his position. Please drop all charges brought against Professor Morshed Hasan Khan under Section 124A, Bangladesh Penal Code immediately. I urge you to respect, protect, and fulfil the right to freedom of expression and academic freedom.