Asia

Abrar Fahad: Bangladesh police charge 25 over murder

Abrar Fahad looking into the camera Image copyright Abrar Fahad/Facebook
Image caption Abrar Fahad was beaten to death after posting criticism of the government online

Bangladesh police have charged 25 people following the killing of 21-year-old student in October.

Abrar Fahad was beaten to death by fellow students at one of Bangladesh's top universities, after posting criticism of government policy on social media.

His death sparked protests at university campuses across the country.

Police say 11 of those charged were directly involved in the killing, while the others helped organise the attack.

Many of the students charged were members of the youth wing of the Awami League, the ruling political party in Bangladesh.

The group, called the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), has been widely accused of using torture and extortion against students.

What happened to Abrar Fahad?

Abrar Fahad was an undergraduate student at one of the most prestigious places of learning in the country - Bangladesh University of Engineering (Buet) in the capital, Dhaka.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The body of Abrar Fahad was found in a dormitory in October

He criticised the government over a water-sharing deal with India, in a post shared to his social media.

A few days later, his body was found in a dormitory.

Witnesses told the BBC he was taken from his room around 20:00 (14:00 GMT) and beaten for at least four hours before he died.

Dr Sohel Mahmud, the doctor who performed the autopsy, confirmed to the BBC that Fahad's body was heavily bruised.

He said: "There was a lot of blunt force trauma in his body. We think he died of attack with blunt objects."

A Buet student told the BBC they saw Fahad after he had been beaten, but they did not want to be named for fear of reprisals.

"With help from some junior students I carried Abrar downstairs. He was still alive."

"He was saying, 'Please take me to the hospital, quickly.'"

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protests were held in Dhaka as news of the death spread

News of the death led to protests in the capital by Buet students, members of the teaching staff and former students. The demonstrations then spread to other cities.

Protesters chanted slogans and blocked roads, while some demanded the death penalty for anyone found guilty of the killing.

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