Teenage girl detained for Facebook post in Bangladesh released News
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Teenage girl detained for Facebook post in Bangladesh released

Amnesty International Friday published an announcement that Dipti Rani Das, a Bangladeshi teenager who was detained over a Facebook post, was released from detention on March 15.

In October 2020, Dipti Rani Das, a Hindu minority teenage girl, was arrested in Dinajpur, Bangladesh, under Bangladesh’s Digital Security Act, 2018 over a Facebook post which contained a photograph of a woman keeping the Islamic holy book Quran in between her thighs. Despite a public apology at the police station, Das was attacked in her home and demanded that she leave the house. She later faced charges of “hurting religious sentiment” and “advancing to deteriorate law and order”and could have faced seven years of imprisonment.

In May 2021, after several bail applications were rejected by lower courts, the High Court granted bail to Dipti. However, the bail order was stayed through an appeal by the Deputy commissioner of Dinajpur, her home district. In February 2022, the High Court in Bangladesh granted bail to Dipti after spending 16 months in a correctional facility in Rajshahi, a northern district in Bangladesh.

The UN Human Rights Council had criticized Bangladesh’s Digital Security Act, 2018 for curbing the freedom of speech and expression in the country, and several human rights organisations even called for the rejection of the adoption of the Digital Security Act, 2018.

Amnesty International in its annual country report of 2021 documented severe human rights violations committed by Bangladeshi security agencies under the pretext of containing false, offensive, defamatory or derogatory information online, and called on Bangladesh’s government to urgently repeal or substantially amend the 2018 Digital Security Act and end the crackdown on people’s right to freedom of expression online.

After her release from detention, Dipti acknowledged her supporters and said, “I thank you all for standing beside me.”