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POST TIME: 18 March, 2019 11:42:43 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 March, 2019 12:52:37 PM
Release FIFA official Kiron: Amnesty
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

Release FIFA official Kiron: Amnesty

Bangladeshi authorities must immediately and unconditionally release the international football governing body FIFA’s council member Mahfuza Akhter Kiron, who faces two years behind bars simply for exercising her right to freedom of expression, Amnesty International said in a press statement yesterday.
Mahfuza Akhter Kiron, who is also chairperson of the women's wing of the Bangladesh Football Federation, was arrested from her home in Dhaka's Dhanmodi area on Saturday.
She is facing defamation charges for accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of favouring cricket over football, and was denied bail by a Dhaka court.
"Championing football is not a crime. Mahfuza Akhter Kiron was merely exercising her right to freedom of expression by stating that the Prime Minister favoured cricket over football. If the implications of a defamation case were not so serious, it would be laughable. Mahfuza Akther Kiron must be released immediately and unconditionally," said Saad Hammadi, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International.
"The crackdown on freedom of expression is one of the main reasons why Bangladesh's image has been tainted globally. As long as these arrests continue, and as long as these repressive laws remain in force, Bangladesh will be unable to claim its place as a rising economy that upholds human rights," said Saad Hammadi.