Shawkat Mahmud, acting convener of the platform for professional bodies, warned on Saturday that they would launch protests next week unless she is freed.
“Professionals are stuck in prison today. They can’t express themselves or practise human rights. They have been sent to jail on false charges. The arrest of Tajmeri SA Islam is an intimidation tactic,” he said during a human-chain protest outside the National Press Club.
“Professionals won’t back down in any way. We will wait and see if she is released within a week. If not then our movement will start on the streets. It will turn into a movement to overthrow this authoritarian government.”
Tajmeri, an adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was sent to jail on Thursday after her arrest in the capital’s Uttara.
She faces several charges under the Penal Code, including the obstruction of law enforcement in 2018, in a case filed with Uttara West police.
But the BNP claim the case against her is “politically motivated”.
“This authoritarian government has started attacking university teachers and intellectuals on the eve of its demise. They (the government) are trying to survive by hiring lobbyists in different countries. But hiring lobbyists will not do them any good,” said Shawkat.
International organisations, too, are now speaking out against the Awami League administration over its human rights record, according to him.