CAGE International is urging Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies to confirm whether they are holding Jasimuddin Rahmani. If so, we request his immediate release and access to legal representation. We are increasingly concerned for the safety and well-being of Rahmani, who disappeared on January 21, 2024, after serving 11 years in prison as a political prisoner. Rahmani is a prominent scholar in Bangladesh, actively involved in preaching and educating about Islam. He has been imprisoned under dubious allegations related to the murder of a blogger, which many perceive as an attempt to suppress his religious freedom.
His family and legal team were cautiously anticipating his return home, especially given that several political prisoners had been released on bail in the preceding months. He was due to be released from Kashimpur High Security Prison in Dhaka on the morning of Sunday, January 21, 2024. However, family members and the legal team, who were expecting to collect him from the prison facility, were surprised when he did not appear as anticipated. Some witnesses assert that Jasimuddin Rahmani did not go beyond the immediate perimeter of the jail's gates.
It is believed that Jasimuddin was re-apprehended by Bangladesh Law Enforcement officers, specifically the Counter Terrorism & Transnational Crime (CTTC), and is currently being held in their detention facilities. The CTTC initially informed Bangladeshi media that Jasimuddin was hiding at a relative's house. However, since his official release, neither his legal team nor family has been able to make contact with him.
This occurrence is not uncommon in Bangladesh, which has a significant history of political repression. A considerable number of the government's opposition figures and dissidents, including journalists, editors, and even the leader of the opposition party, are currently incarcerated. Those the government deems 'Islamists' often face particularly harsh treatment.