Abu Bakar Siddique released but worries remain for human rights defenders in Bangladesh

April 27, 2014

While the world received with great satisfaction the announcement of Bangladeshi human rights defender Adilur as Final Nominee of the MEA, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture and the International Federation for Human Rights, draws attention to the strange and disquieting case of Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique, the husband of Ms. Rizwana Hasan, Executive Director of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyer’s Association BELA. He had been abducted on 16 April by unidentified men while traveling to Dhaka from Narayanganj by car. The vehicle with the unidentified men hit Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique’s car in Fatulla. When Mr. Siddique and the driver of his car exited the car, the unidentified men sprayed something into the driver’s eyes, and took Mr. Siddique away. On April 17, 2014 – about 33 hours after his abduction – Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique was left by his abductors blindfolded in Mirpur.

Abu Bakar Siddique reported that his abductors did not torture him nor demand any ransom. It still remains unclear who abducted him or why. Mr. Nurul Islam, Superintendent of Narayanganj police, said they would try to find out the motive and the persons behind the abduction after gathering more information from the victim.The Observatory welcomes Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique’s release but reiterates its fears that Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique’s abduction was only aimed at sanctioning the human rights activities of his wife, Ms. Rizwana Hasan. Ms. Rizwana Hasan and her relatives have been subjected to threats because of her human rights activities against illegal encroachment, land grabbing, industrial pollution and other illegal acts affecting the environment. In 2012, she received the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

More generally, the Observatory is concerned by acts of reprisals against relatives of human rights defenders in Bangladesh, as those acts seem to be only aimed at silencing their human rights activities, and calls upon the authorities of Bangladesh to ensure in all circumstances that defenders are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals.See also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/human-rights-in-bangladesh/

via Bangladesh: Release of Mr. Abu Bakar Siddique / April 22, 2014 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT.

One Response to “Abu Bakar Siddique released but worries remain for human rights defenders in Bangladesh”

  1. […] against mining projects or defending the rights of indigenous communities, Hasan said. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2014/04/27/abu-bakar-siddique-released-but-worries-remain-for-huma… “Authoritarian regimes are increasingly branding NGOs as foreign agents, enemies of the state […]

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