University of Toronto student and permanent resident of Canada, Tahmid Khan, was granted bail on Sunday after spending three months in a Bangladeshi jail.
Khan was present during an almost 12-hour siege in a café in Dhaka on July 1. Gunmen attacked the café, killing 20 and holding another 13 hostage. The police arrived the following morning and were able to free the 13 hostages, but took Khan and another British citizen, Hasnat Karim, to be questioned as witnesses.
According to Section 52 of the Bangladeshi Code of Criminal Procedure, the police are allowed to question someone without an official warrant.
“It’s been hard, because [Khan] spent three months [in jail], and watching someone you care about go through something like this, and not really being able to help him directly,” said Josh Grondin, a U of T student and a friend of Khan. “So now that we know that he’s not in much danger anymore and is on track to come back to Toronto, it feels really good.”
In a U of T News article published yesterday, Althea Blackburn-Evans, the director of media relations at U of T, said that the university was pleased that Khan was granted the bail.
“We’re looking forward to his return to the university and we will do everything we can to support him when he is ready to resume his studies,” stated Blackburn-Evans.
It is still unclear when Khan will be able to return back to Toronto, as of press time.
The Dhaka Tribune also reported yesterday on its website that, in spite of the current bail, a court hearing has been scheduled to take place on Wednesday following a petition filed by police alleging that Khan did not cooperate with them during the investigation.
“I personally don’t think it would be a problem to dismiss [Khan] easily; I think it’s more of a formality,” said Grondin.
A Facebook page, Free Tahmid, was set up by the family and friends of Khan, and had attracted 70,000 likes to support and mobilize toward his freedom.