Research and Empowerment Organization – REO and Global Human Rights Defence-GHRD jointly organized a Press Conference and human chain on 27th April 2018 at Dhaka to withdraw the case against Journalist Supriti Dhar. The speaker of the Conference demand to withdraw the case and remove the black law sec 57. Supriti Dhar runs a very popular blog site, called Women Chapter, where women are allowed to speak out about the changes they want to see in society, share news and experiences. She is under severe threat both from the religious extremists and the state, but very determined to continue her work.
In 2015, Supriti Dhar was threatened for five days in a row. She received threatening calls from 52 different numbers. She was abused on her Facebook and she was told by those perpetrators that she would be their next target.
Supriti Dhar mentioned in one of her interviews, “In the back of my mind I always have this feeling that I am being watched. I feel a shiver in my spine when I climb up the dark staircase of my home every night.”
On 19th April 2018, a fundamentalist man, who is the Editor of the Daily Al-Ihsan, which attracts only the fundamentalist groups and their members filed a case against Supriti Dhar, Editor of the Women Chapter and three others under section-57. This is one of the laws, which the government of Bangladesh and the fundamentalist groups use against minorities, journalists, free-thinkers and honest people to shut their mouths, put them in the prison without any judgment. Supriti Dhar was their target for last few years and, on 19th April 2018, they took the advantage to file a case against her.
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In the circumstances, we, on behalf of the readers of Women Chapter demand to immediate withdrawal of this case. Also, I suggest the authority of Bangladesh to take immediate steps to remove this law and allow ordinary citizens of the country and the Press to enjoy the freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
The voice from the Seminar:
Surovi Rina Chowdhury:
We want to withdraw the case against Supriti Dhar without any condition. 2ndly, what is our rights- people are talking the equal rights but what is in reality? do I able to go along at 10 pm on the street of Dhaka? Never. We want our real rights.
I along with my university’s friends regularly read the women chapter. How boldly Supriti Dhar wrote regards on our rights and problems, she is not fear to write anything legal. You want justice for her. Even we want those who have a case against her those culprits should be under the justice. This time female should stands for herself without knowing anything, without claiming, she should stand for ALL women.
we want justice for the Supriti Dhar- and the Govt. must have withdraw the case against her. Now means now. Achieving gender equality requires engagements of not only the girl, women, it requires everyone male and female both altogether. Human rights mean women rights and we must have to achieve it.
And many more people give their opinions and ALL want to withdraw the case against Supriti Dhar and Remove the Sec- 57.