The High Court has granted bail to Adilur Rahman Khan and ASM Nasiruddin Elan, secretary and director of the rights group Odhikar in a case filed under the ICT Act.
It also stayed the order for them to pay Tk 10,000 in fines, paving the way for the convicts to be released from jail on bail, their legal counsels said.
The High Court will also hear the activists’ appeal against the verdict given against them, reports bdnews24.com.
The bench of Justice Md Emdadul Haque Azad issued the bail order on Tuesday. Lawyer AJ Mohammad Ali and Advocate Ruhul Amin Bhuiyan moved the bail petition for the defendants.
On September 14, Judge AM Zulfikar Hayat slapped two years in jail on both rights activists for distorting the information on the death toll of Hifazat-e-Islam leaders and activists at the Shapla Square in Motijheel. They were also fined with Tk 10,000 each.
In 2013, Hifazat-e-Islam, a Qawmi madrasa-based organisation, retaliated after protests took place at Shahbagh to demand capital punishment for war criminals.
Hifazat gathered its activists and madrasa students at Shapla Square on May 5 of the same year.
Although the government urged them to leave the square, they refused. Law enforcement agencies dispersed the crowd later at night.
As many as 61 people died in the incident when police dispersed the Hifazat crowd, Odhikar claimed in their report. Police, however, denied the death count and said no one was killed during the raid at night and only 11 people died in clashes during the day.
As the Odhikar report created confusion after it was published, the Detective Branch of police filed a general diary (GD) with Gulshan Police Station over the incident on August 10. Later, the GD was turned into a case.
Adilur, a former deputy attorney general during the last BNP-Jamaat alliance government, was arrested on August 10 and was later released on bail.
Elan turned himself in on November 6 after an arrest warrant was issued against him. He too was released on bail.