Urgent Action Outcome: Teenage Girl Jailed Over Facebook Post Freed
Dipti Rani Das, a teenager from the Hindu minority community in Bangladesh, was arrested by the police for a Facebook post on 28 October 2020 and taken to a correction facility where she was held for sixteen months. Booked under the country’s draconian Digital Security Act on vague charges of “hurting religious sentiment” and “advancing to deteriorate law and order”, she faced up to seven years in jail. Dipti Rani Das was granted bail on 17 February 2022 and released from detention on 15 March 2022.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
On 17 February 2022, the High Court in Bangladesh granted Dipti Rani Das bail after she spent 16 months in a correction facility in Rajshahi, a northern district in Bangladesh. Her application for bail had previously been rejected three times in the lower courts after her arrest. She was released from detention on 15 March 2022.
Dipti Rani Das was 17 years old when she was arrested on 28 October 2020 under the country’s draconian Digital Security Act on vague charges of “hurting religious sentiment” and “advancing to deteriorate law and order” for a Facebook post which contained a photograph of a woman keeping the Islamic holy book Quran in between her thighs. Restrictions to the right to freedom of expression must be clearly provided by law and be strictly necessary and proportionate to a legitimate aim. Protection of religious beliefs is not a permissible ground to restrict the right to freedom of expression, and prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion are incompatible with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Bangladesh is a party.
Following her release from detention, Dipti Rani Das shared this message to those who supported her: “I thank you all for standing beside me.”