Photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol has been released from jail on Friday, obtaining bail in one of the three cases filed against him under the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA).
"He walked out of Dhaka Central Jail around 11am after his bail order reached the prison," confirmed Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, who argued for the journalist.
The High Court on 17 December granted him bail in a case filed with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station.
In response to Shafiqul Islam Kajol's release from prison today, Saad Hammadi, Amnesty International's South Asia Campaigner said,"It's a relief to know that Kajol has been freed, after two months of disappearance and seven months in detention for his posts on Facebook."
"We hope that the authorities will drop the cases against Kajol, and release all those who have been detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression in line with Bangladesh's commitments under the international human rights law," he added.
Hammadi said the Digital Security Act in its current form did not define the necessity and proportionality of the penalties, as articulated in the framework of the international human rights law with regards to the restriction on freedom of expression.
"As a result, state agencies can still abuse the law, with no safeguards in place for people to seek redress for such violations", he added.
He further said the authorities must immediately repeal the Digital Security Act unless it can be amended in compliance with the international human rights law, and in consultation with members of the media and civil society.
Kajol, who had previously worked as a photojournalist at national dailies such as Dainik Samakal and Banik Barta, is the editor of the fortnightly magazine Pokkhokal.
Ruling party lawmaker Saifuzzaman Shikhor filed the case against Kajol and 31 others with the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station on March 9 on a charge of publishing a report with "false information."
On the following day, Kajol went missing on 10 March after leaving his office in the capital. Later, his wife Julia Ferdousi Nayan filed a general diary with Chawkbazar police station on the next day.
Two more cases were also filed against him under the same act with Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar police stations in the capital on 10 and 11 March.
After around 53 days' disappearance, on May 3, Kajol was detained by members of the Raghunathpur BGB camp on a charge of trespassing the Benapole border in Jessore.