Dhaka, Bangladesh
UN, UK appalled at student killing for voice of dissent

UN, UK appalled at student killing for voice of dissent

The United Nations has deplored the killing of young Buet student Abrar Fahad, saying freedom of speech is a human right. "Freedom of speech is a human right, and nobody should be harassed, tortured or killed for exercising it," said the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh in a statement on Wednesday. The UN Bangladesh noted steps taken by the authorities to apprehend alleged perpetrators, the statement reads. "It encourages independent investigations that should lead to justice being served in a fair process, and measures to ensure prevention of further incidents," according to the statement. It mentioned that campus violence in Bangladesh has over the years affected and claimed too many lives, with apparent impunity for those bearing responsibility. The British High Commission in Dhaka, in a Facebook post on its verified page, said they are shocked and saddened at the events at Buet. "Shocked and saddened by events at BUET. The UK stands unconditionally for free speech, media freedom, human rights and the rule of law," the message reads. Abrar, a second-year student of Buet's EEE department, was beaten to death, allegedly by leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League, at the university's Sher-e-Bangla Hall on early Monday. Meanwhile, at a programme on Wednesday, UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo called for quick investigation and justice over the killing. She described the incident as worrisome and horrible, adding that as a parent of two children she felt horrified after learning about it. While talking to reporters at DCAB Talk organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at BIISS auditorium, Mia Seppo said campuses must be safe. Meanwhile, German embassy in its face-book status added: Freedom of expression is one of the most important values of every democracy. It guarantees the individual right of freedom of speech and freedom of opinion as well as the right to publishing that opinion publicly. The German government emphatically supports those rights in Germany as well as globally. We place great value on not leaving any violations of these principles unpunished. With sadness and regret the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dhaka took notice of the death of the BUET student who was killed on Monday night. The embassy would like to express its heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family and friends of the student and calls on everybody to advocate freedom of expression emphasizing the importance of this keystone of democracy.

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