Posts Tagged ‘Dhaka’

Media can help uphold human rights, says meeting in Dhaka

December 22, 2013

Lawyers, former diplomats and rights activists at a dialogue on 16 November 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stressed that media should use national and international mechanisms in reporting on human rights issues. They also pointed out that pressuring the government by international mechanism and pressure groups, such as diplomats and international media, could help improve the human rights situation in the country. Former ambassador Harun Ur Rashid, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, Sayeed Ahmad of Forum Asia, Tahmina Rahman of Article 19, lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua, Nur Khan of Ain o Salish Kendra were the panelists at this dialogue entitled “Journalists as human rights defenders working together for the promotion and protection of human rights” organised by the human rights group Ain O Salish Kendra. Ambassador Harun ur Rashid said the media played an important role in creating awareness as well as acting as a pressure group to uphold human rights.“Individuals are now recognised not only in the national law but also in the international laws, so when his/her rights are violated, both state and the UN can intervene to protect the individual,” Harun ur Rashid added. Dhaka Tribune Editor Zafar Sobhan said the government had a tendency to act unresponsively on human rights violations until the issue was being picked up by international media or watchdogs. “Still, the media is playing a great role here. Ultimately the international watchdogs and media mostly gather information from news published in local media,” he said, adding that media persons also have the duty to respect victim’s privacy and rights. Sayeed Ahmad of Forum Asia observed that accountability was much more needed than creating awareness on human rights among the government institutions and law enforcement agencies such as Rapid Action Battalion, police and armed forces to ensure human rights. Echoing Sayeed, Tahmina of Article 19 said if such groups always enjoy exemption from the laws in the country, a culture of impunity is hard to eliminate.

via Media can help uphold human rights: Dialogue | Dhaka Tribune.

BANGLADESH: Human Rights Defender Elan of Odhikar now also arrested

November 7, 2013



The Asian Human Rights Commission condemns the detention of ASM Nasiruddin Elan and demands his immediate release. Mr. ASM Nasiruddin Elan, Director of Bangladeshi human rights organization, Odhikar, has been detained in prison by the Cyber Crimes Tribunal of Dhaka, today, November 6, 2013. This detention is part of the continued repression against the whistle-blowers exposing the ongoing State-sponsored gross violations of human rights in Bangladesh. Elan has been charged by the country’s police under the Information and Communications Technology (Amendment) Act, 2013, a draconian law, for publishing fact-finding report on governmental crackdown on the pro-Islamist demonstrators in the early morning of 6 May 2013 in Dhaka. Read the rest of this entry »

Pillay urges immediate release of detained human rights defender Adilur Rahman Khan in Bangladesh

August 14, 2013

On 13 August 2013 the United Nations added its voice to the many to call for his immediate release of Adilur Rahman Khan, the director of Odhikar, a well-known human rights organization in the country. He was arrested at his home in the capital, Dhaka, on 10 August by plainclothes officers reportedly acting without a warrant, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [OHCHR]. “We are calling on the Government of Bangladesh to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Khan, whose arrest might be linked to his work as human rights defender,” OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell told reporters in Geneva. She said Mr. Khan is reported to have been arrested under section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and


section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, accused of publishing false information about violence by Government forces during demonstrations in May by the Islamist movement, Hefazat-e-Islami. Odhikar reported that 61 people had died during these protests, challenging the Government’s version of events, noted Ms. Throssell.She said that the day after his arrest, Mr. Khan was denied bail and ordered to be held on remand for five days. “He was allegedly denied access to a lawyer before his court hearing,” she added.

via United Nations News Centre – Bangladesh: UN urges immediate release of detained human rights defender.

Mahmudur Rahman reportedly tortured while in detention in Bangladesh

April 24, 2013

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped reports that on 18 April 2013, on his second day in custody at Kashimpur Central Jail, human rights defender Mahmudur Rahman was moved from judicial custody to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University due to severe torture which reportedly included the hammering of nails into his flesh and bone as well as electric shock treatment. Mahmudur Rahman is an editor of the newspaper Daily Amardesh, which was closed by police without a court order on 11 April 2013, the same day the human rights defender was arrested. As an editor of the Daily Amardesh, Mahmudur Rahman has published articles exposing corruption scandals of high profile ruling party politicians including the Prime Minister and her family members. He also denounced the killing of 172 civilians by police during government clashes with the opposition last February. Despite the closure of the Daily Amardesh, the Interim Chairperson, Mrs Mahmuda Begum, made arrangements to print at an alternative press, however this was forbidden by the District Magistrate and 19 people were arrested at the press on 14 April 2013.

The torture reportedly took place whilst Mahmudur Rahman was in custody at the Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. He was detained under police remand for six days before being handed over to judicial remand on 17 April 2013. The human rights defender had been on hunger strike in custody to protest his illegal detention, torture, and the arrest of his colleagues following the closure of the Daily Amardesh. A petition was filed to the High Court Division Bench on 18 April 2013 challenging the decision to send Mahmudur Rahman to police remand. The human rights defender’s lawyers argued that placing him in police remand without adequate measures in place to ensure his physical health violates the High Court’s directives concerning pre-trial detention. Mahmudur Rahman suffers from a heart condition which can be fatal if untreated. When the human rights defender was escorted into court to hear the petition, eye witnesses said that he had fresh wounds on his legs, blood stains on his clothes and that he found it difficult to sit down.

Front Line Defenders believes that the arrest and reported torture in detention of Mahmudur Rahman are related to his work in defence of human rights and denouncing government corruption in Bangladesh (see earlier appeal  of 10 November 2010.