Monday, December 15, 2008

Minority repression has begin in Bangladesh

Focusing the forthcomming parliament election
Minority repression has begin in Bangladesh


By Jahangir aAlam Akash

Hindu Worship's Building at Keraniganj-Dhaka was demolished by the communal quarter in Bangladesh. According to the victims the perpetrators are taking the chance of forth coming parliament election. As the police is busy with security and the local leaders are busy for counting vote in their side no one is coming to help them. They victims, Hindu minorities are living life under threat. They expressed before the election the perpetrators are taking the chance to size us. One of the perpetuator was “RAJAKAR” During 1971. The Hindu lady said that on 71 the Rajakar had hijacked my grandfather. Now they are trying the grab our land.
Minorities belonging to Hindus at Keraniganj-Dhaka are in panic due to repression and assault on women. Land grabbers looted belongings of the temple and demolished the 200 hundred years’ building on 05.12.2008 illegally. Police took theft case instead of looting of valuables.
Some land grabbers looted valuable articles and demolished structure of the temple house (deity’s property) at Raskhit Para of Shakta Union within Keraniganj Upazila of Dhaka District on 5th Dec, 08 and hanged their sign board most illegally.

Name of the victims: 1) Ms.Durapati Mondal (85) wife of Late Shashi Mondal

2) Ms.Jharna Rani Sarkar (45)

3) Ms.Madhabi Bhattacharjee (52) wife Narayon Bhattacharjee.

Name of the perpetrators: 1) Salauddin sultan (40) son of Hajee Md. Seraj.

2) Md. Shajahan (42) son of late Abdul Rahim Bepari

3) Md. Latif (50) son of late Abdul Rahim Bepari

4) Md. Raisuddin (42) son of Late Rafique Uddin.

5) Md. Liton (35) son of Hajee Md. Momtazuddin and unknown 20 others.

Date of occurrence: 5th of December, 2008 at about 8 A.M

Damage caused to deity’s property: 1,00,000/- taka .

Nature of crime : Land grabbing’s and forceful eviction.

It is alleged that on last Friday (: 5th of December) afternoon the land grabber namely Sajahan, Salauddin Sulltan, Ramizuddin, Liton, Sumon, Abdul Latif and more unknown 20/25 hoodlums attacked the minority inhabitants of the deity’s property. Some Hindu inhabitants – Ms.Durapati Mandal (85) wife of late Shashi Mondal, Ms. Jharna Rani Sarkar and Ms.Madhabi Bhattacharjee tried to resist the hoodlums, but they have been overpowered. The hoodlums looted the house and demolished it. They have also stolen away iron pillars and wood cost amounting to Taka 1, 00,000/- kept for Puja purpose.
After investigation it is found that the hood lumps demolished two storied building belonging to deity’s property a sign board was hanged on the spot in the name of six land grabbers. As a result Ms.Durapati Mondal burst into tears. Ms. Durapati states – “I came this house as wife of late Shashi Mondal seventy years ago. This temple was dedicated for Sheba puja by a registered deed No.2735 dated 25.08.1945 by the then Zemindar – Devendra Kishore Raskhit in the name of 1) Aditya Bhattacharjee, 2) Gopal Bhattacharjee, 3) Shidesh Bhattacharjee, 4) Radha Raman Majumdar and 5) Dinesh Bhattacharjee.” Since then the Hindu shebaits were performing sheba puja as per contents of the deed or transfer dated 25.08.1945.

Ms.Rekha Bhattacharjee lodged First Information Report at Keraniganj Police station and Police took case against those perpetrators under bail able section of Bangladesh Penal code instead of proper section of law. ( Keraniganj PS case No. 05/313 dated 07.12.2008 under section 143/447/379/428/506 of BPC)
Police also arrested 1) Salauddin Sultan (40) son of Hajee Md. Seraj, 2) Md. Sahajahan (42) son of late Abdul Rahim Bepari and 3) Latif (50) son of Late Abdujl Rahim Bepari under section 143/447/379/428/506 of Penal code. Because the sections all bail able and they all got bail from the court on 8th December, 08. Mr.Md. Asaduzzaman – Officer-in-Charge of Keraniganj Police station did not record the section 327 of Penal code during lodging FIR. Section 327 discloses that “Whoever voluntarily causes hurt for the purposes of extorting form the sufferer, any property or valuable security, or of constraining the sufferer, or any person, interested in such sufferer to do anything which is illegal or which may facilitate the commission of an offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Jahangir Alam Akash
Bangladesh
+8801720084944
jahangiralamakash@gmail.com
15.12.2008.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scientist Professor Arun Basak of Rajshahi, a Victim of Harassment and Mental Torture

By Jahangir Alam Akash
A patriot and internationally renowned celebrated scientist Dr. Arun Kumar Basak is being subjected to harassment and mental torture, perpetrated by a government establishment. This makes it difficult for him to devote himself to study and research. He and the other members of his family are passing their days in a state of deep insecurity. Dr. Basak was honored with the highly prestigious Bangladesh Academy of Sciences Gold medal in 2006 for his outstanding contributions in the field of Physical Sciences.
Dr Arun Basak, a retired professor of Physics of the University of Rajshahi, has been subjected to cynical harassment and mental torture, inflicted by the Rajshahi Development Authority (RDA) in league with a powerful vested interest of the locality. Appealing against this overbearance , Mrs. Devika Basak, wife of Professor Basak has made a written prayer on 24 January of this year to the Honourable President of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh.
Professor Basak bought an old dilapidated house in the Sagarpara area of the city for residential purposes and registered it in the name of his wife in 1985. He renovated the house with minor adjustments to settle there. The roofed staircase was reconstructed with no new house-construction or wall. The RDA served a show cause notice on Mrs Basak on 10 January, 1987, charging her with the offence of unauthorized house-building without a prior permission from their office. Mrs. Basak sent a reply to the notice on 15 January of that year. In it she explained that the staircase was built only with cooperation, counseling and goodwill of the neighbors. There was no objection from any of the neighbors. In reply to the notice, Mrs Basak also submitted that they did not have any prior knowledge that the renovation of a staircase matching an old house required a formal approval of the RDA, and hence she prayed for a formal sanction of the work which had been done in a good faith. In addition, she pledged that she would be obliged to pull down the reconstructed staircase if in the future that becomes a necessity in the interest of the RDA. In response to the submission of Mrs Devika Basak, the report observes, the Authorized Officer of RDA after a long silence of six years informed her in a letter of 29 October, 1993 that the charge leveled against her had been provisionally withdrawn, and in consequence of that the Basak family settled down in that house without any further trouble.
But, as stated in the aforesaid petition to the Honorable President, a new crisis developed for them in 2003, when an additional construction was started on the southern side of their house by their adjacent neighbor showing total disregard for the rules of house-building in an urban locality. This erection came within a mere 9 (nine) inch distance from the residential room of the very old house, that Professor Basak had bought for this wife and since been living in with his other members of his family, by the scheming neighbor Mr. I. Y. Ferdous. The overbearing Mr Ferdous left even no cornice gap at the roof-top. The mandatory restriction of a gap of at least 4 (four) feet from the boundary imposed by the RDA was blatantly flouted by Mr. Ferdous. Mrs Basak entreated with Mr. Ferdous to desist from the unlawful and heinous act. But Mr. Ferdous not only threw aside but also threatened highly respected Dr. Basak with a dire consequence in case the Basak family dared to interfere with the evil designs of Ferdous. The matter was brought to the notice of the local ward Commissioner, Mr. Abdul Hamid Sarkar Tekon. But he took no corrective measure even after his high promise to the Basak family. Once the said Ferdous had completed the construction of the second floor of his venture, some BNP leaders of the then ruling party intervened and endorsed a formal complain regarding the matter to the RDA authority.
The RDA authority, after serving two consecutive notices on both Ferdous and Devika Basak, started putting pressure on Dr. Basak to agree to a compromise with Ferdous even while he was executing uninterrupted his ulterior design. Scientist Basak told the investing team of the TFT that two buildings almost locked side by side and stops cross ventilation of air leading ultimately to the development of a hazardous level of radioactive radon gas naturally emanated from the concrete materials, which is one of the principal causes of lung-cancer. This house-related disturbance and thrust on him through the machinations of his recalcitrant neighbor are destroying his peace of mind and he can no longer adequately concentrate on his research works, he lamented.
The RDA authority constituted an inquiry committee formed with the ward commissioner (at present the acting Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation) Mr. Reazun Nabi Dudu and the word commissioner Abdul Hamid Sarkar Tekon (who failed to stop Ferdous from his heinous designs at the beginning of the illegal construction) on 9 March, 2006 to look specifically into the matter. But the report of the committee has not yet seen the light of the day.
The RDA Charman, Mr. Tapan Chandra Mazumder, refused to talk on this issue stating that these are all matters of bygone days.

Jahangir Alam Akash
Journalist & Human Rights Activists
C-361 Seroil, Ghoramara-6100
Boalia, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Cell : +8801720084944
E-mail : jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Human Rights Violation by Army & Impunity in Bangladesh

By Jahangir Alam Akash
Democracy is detained in Army locker in Bangladesh, so it is very clear to understand that the human rights are controlling by the command of Army and their associates.
The people of Bangladesh struggled for 22 years to establish their rights in different sectors nationally; then for their provincial autonomy and finally for independence. They owned their victory in nine months war and found Bangladesh independent. But it is very afflicting that all fundamental rights were stunted by Army interference in different times. The Army autocrats ruled the country unruly killed thousands of civilians and Army people, even the father of the nation Bangobandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, but they have got indemnity in all the cases.
A prolonged and unjustifiable state emergency has increased lawlessness and since January 11, 2007 all fundamental rights have been suspended. The armed forces have been enjoying unbridled power and sheer impunity. Many human rights defenders have been threatened, tortured and implicated in fabricated cases. A few numbers of defenders have been killed extra judicially also.
Now a day, it is said in Bangladesh that the present autocratic government is controlling the different judicial courts as their liking also. The armed forces of Bangladesh have been enjoying human rights according to their wishes and capacities during the state emergency. They are not accountable to any authority at all. Instead, they are allowed to do and undo whatever they want section 20 of emergency powers rules 2007 authorizing the law and order maintaining forces to use force in order to execute any order issued according to rules. It can be stated in this regard that at the time of ‘Operation Clean Heart’ in 2002 about 58 civilians were killed by the Army and about 600 civilians were killed in the name of ‘Crossfire’ or ‘Encounter’ by Elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from 2004 till today.
Though some other persons were also killed by the police in same way of extra-judicial killings. Dr. Mizanur Rahman Tutul who was the chief of banned organization called Purbo Bangla Communist Party (ML-Red flag) was killed by police in Naogaon on 27th July, 2008 in the name of ‘Encounter’. Though RAB was arrested Dr. Tutul on 25th July, 2008 from



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Dhaka. There are hundreds of examples of such activities of law enforcing agencies in the country.
Bangladesh is a People’s Republic country. Constitution of Bangladesh dictates its nationals as the owners of the country. In the independence war 30 lacks of peoples lost their lives and two lacks of widows lost their modesty by the Pakistani Armies and their associates. It is declared in the preamble of the Constitution ‘that it shall be a fundamental aim of the state to realize through democratic process a socialist society, free from exploitation a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedom, equality and justice political, economic and social will be secured for all citizens’. It is the great sorrows of us that the owners of the country (people) are always being tortured by the state servant (Army) of the country.
In this regime, it is the normal practice of the joint force, Army, RAB to torture the professors of universities, journalists and human rights defenders. No action is to be taken against these accused persons and sometimes they used to be facilitated. For example some Army personnel tortured some students of Dhaka University after negligible events on 20th August, 2007 for which students movement started throughout the country, in that movement it turned of a much movement. Then some honorable professors of Dhaka and Rajshahi University were arrested with some students and officials of the universities. They were also tortured in the Army camp and different fabricated cases were started against them by which the arrested professors, officials and students were convicted by an unfair trial. Then public opinion went against the present self declared government and the government became bound to release the convicted professors, students with two official order. Though some students of Dhaka University are still facing trial till now.
I am also victimized by the present ruling authority for my activities in doing duties as a Human Rights Activist and a Journalist. I started my service as a Journalist in 1989 and then as a Human Rights Activist in Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT) in 2001. In my country democracy was practiced for three & half years just after liberation up to August, 1975. Then it was again establish in 1991after an election when parliamentary government was formed and it continued up to January, 2007 though there were so many obstacles in the way to establish the rule of law in fact. It is also said that the


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period of parliamentary form government many ministers, Member of Parliament (MP)’s were involved in corruption but if we compare the GDP
in the period of different government, we can see that in the period of elected government in the year 1972-1975 and 1991-2007 it was far better than that of other government.
I want to produce some picture of violation of rule of law and human rights and how I was also victimized as a Journalist and human rights activist. Job of a Journalist is very risky not only in our country but also allover the developing and under developing countries especially when a devoted one wants to publish or to produce a fact which hampers the interests of egoists or the persons in power.
In Bangladesh many journalist were tortured after 11th January, 2007 in the regime of the Army backed care taker government. In its popular public campaign against corruption, the interim government has routinely used torture to extract confessions from criminal suspects or to gain information against those charged with corruption. Torture has also been used punish and to intimidate peaceful critics of the interim government and de facto military rule even to the journalists who disclose the facts of some events or activities of the government organization.
For example Shahidul Islam, founder and director of the human rights organization Uttaran, was beaten with sticks, boots and rifle butts in an Army camp according to relatives who saw him carried unconscious from the room where he had been interrogated. It is reported in Human Right Watch that one man who was present at the camp told to the organization I saw that they look him to the bathroom. I could hear them beating him. I could hear the sound sticks. When they brought him cut, his shirt was covered in blood. He could not walk and had to he carried. I think he was unconscious. These type of example have much more in Bangladesh. Such as Dulal at Charfasion of Bhola, Liaqat Ali of Thakurgaon. They tortured by Army in present Army backed government.
Being a journalist and human rights activist, I was victimized and was tortured by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for my professional activities. On December 1, 2006, RAB murdered Ahsan Habib Babu, a Chatra (Students) League leader from Durgapur. On May 2, 2007 an accused terrorist Mohammad Benazir (BNP) was shot by RAB at his bedroom in front of his wife and minor daughter. On May 16, 2007 RAB tortured jail-guard Sahebul Islam. RAB was killed a Workers Party local Leader Kamrul Islam alias Majnu Sheikh in a litchi garden at Choto Bangram of Rajshahi on May 18, 2007.
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I reported these incidents in CSB News, Radio German Deutsche Welle and in the daily Sangbad. When one Benazir was shot on May 2, 2007 it was reported by me in CSB News. None of the RAB personnel, who were involved in the alleged operation, did agree to give their statements in front of television camera regarding the incident. In the evening, I send the report to my head office [Dhaka] from bureau office [in Rajshahi]. In a news bulletin broadcasted at 01.00am early in the following morning [3 May 2007], the report was screened on air.
Then, at 9.33 pm on 3 May 2007 I received a call in my mobile phone number: [+88]01720084944 from RAB officer Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid from another mobile number: [+88]01714049431. I said 'Greetings' when I received the phone. As soon as I received the phone, the caller asked me that why the broadcasting of the news regarding the RAB's operation was stopped just after airing only two bulletins. In reply, I told the person that 'it is a matter of the head office'.
He [Major Rashid] became annoyed with me and said, ‘you broadcasted this report intentionally.' I replied, ‘‘it is my professional duty, not more intention at all.' He [Major Rashid] asked, "Why did you broadcast the crying face and statements of Benzir's wife and child daughter?" In response, I asked him, “Do you want to know it officially?”
At this stage, Major Rashid became very rude and I cannot mention the words he shouted at me in my language [the language was very bad]; he was outraged and said, "If you fail to give the right answer that why did you broadcast the report, then I shall take actions against you" I said, "I have not committed any crime." Major Rashid asked again, "Why did the other TV channels not broadcast the same report? You did it intentionally and your this particular action belongs to 'anti-state activity'."
He [Major Rashid] again said, "Mind it, you, any of your colleagues and the camera of the CSB News are not seen at all within the jurisdiction and activities of RAB. If it is seen any further that you or your CSB's camera is close to the activities of the RAB, then RAB go for action against you. After this, he [Major Rashid] disconnected the (mobile phone) line." I was complained to Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and Amnesty International regarding this threat. Then an investigation was commissioned.
After giving the detailed address, I signed on my written statement, which was received with signature and official chop by the Reader to APC [Assistant Police Commissioner], Model Police Station, Boalia, RMP, Rajshahi on 3 July 2007. Mr. Golam Mostofa, the Field Officer of the

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National Security Intelligence (NSI) interrogated me regarding the said intimidation and threats on 15 July 2007.
Besides, at around 06.00pm on 22 July 2007, Mr. Moyeen, an Inspector of the Special Branch of the Rajshahi city of the RMP visited my office and took my statement. Inspector Moyeen also asked about the security problem of me, I replied that the RAB is involved in extra judicial killings in the country and I feared that I could be a victim of such killing. I reported that I have been continuing my works but worry that the RAB or his men may target me for further harassment or intimidation.
On the April 9, 2002 and on the December 17, 2006 I reported about the corruption in the management of Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate in Rajshahi. On March 4, of 2000 I reported about Mahfuzul Alam Loton, the son of the sacked Motawali (of the Estate) Abdus Samad and his gang’s terrorist activities. On April 25, 2007 my report on the corruption of this estate was broadcasted by CSB News.
Working as a regional coordinator of a human rights organization, Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, I did some fact-finding on RAB’s human rights violations especially extra judicial killings. These facts were sent to the Home minister, Prime minister and the Chief adviser seeking necessary actions. For these reasons RAB was furious with me.
Reacting to my reports in CSB News and the daily Sangbad on corruption in Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate in Rajshahi, Mahfuzul Alam Loton, son the Motawali Abdus Samad filed a GD (General Diary No. 1160) on June 20, 2007 charging me of a false extortion attempt of Taka 50,000 in the Boalia model police station.
After closed CSB News On October 2, 2007 the same complaint was submitted in the same police station as Izahar (FIR) and it was recorded as a case (No. 2, Section 385/386). I immediately applied to the high court and received an ad-interim bail. But violating the court ruling RAB arrested me on the October 24, 2007 at 01.30am. In this night, around 10 to 12 plainclothes RAB members came to my rent house. When I and my wife asked for their identity they said they were government officials. We said if they don’t identify themselves we won’t open the gate. In the meantime I tried to contact others. The son of the landlord came down from his flat and asked them why they were not identifying themselves. He was beaten and sworn at for this.
In the meantime police also came. I was opened the door but the front grill of the house was still locked. Our 4-months old son was in my lap. I was arrested instantly after opening the lock. A mask was put on my face. Before
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mask my eye’s covered a towel. My son was still in my hands. They searched the house but found nothing. I was beaten by RAB in front of my child son Fiman Farnad (now 15 month old) and my wife Farhana Sarmin (She is now study in Rajshahi University) was also witness to this. At the same time when Mr. Likhon, 26, the son of my landlord Mr. Abul Kashem, asked about the identity of the persons arresting me. He was also beaten. I was taken to RAB-5 office. I was kept hanging from the ceiling with my hands tied with ropes. I was beaten mercilessly on feet and back.
After taking me in RAB-5 office I was kept hanging from ceiling with ropes in my hands, with the mask on my face. In the morning the RAB officer Major Rashidul Hasan and Humayun Kabir (DAD) tortured me physically. They have sworn nasty words towards me. Major Rashid was gave me electric shocks. They handed me over to Boalia police station at 04.30 in the afternoon under section 54 (Under Section 16/2 of Emergency Power Rules-EPR. Boalia police station put me on Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court under section 16 (2) of the EPR.
I was tortured the whole night until about 04.00pm, the next afternoon. My fault was that I reported about RAB’s offenses (extra judicial killings). RAB arrested one of terrorist Benazir on May, 2, 2007 on the charges of possession of illegal arms. While arresting him they shot both of his legs in front of his minor daughter Prianka and his wife. Benazir is now crippled with two bullet marks on his feet. He is also detained in this hospital area of Rajshahi central jail. RAB did not find any arms from him. I reported about this in CSB News and broadcasted interviews of his wife.
RAB murdered an innocent man Workers party leader named Majnu in a litchi garden in the town. I also reported this. So, I became a target. I have been framed in multiple cases and is being tortured. When I was being tortured I was being shouted at with these kinds of words… “Will you do the Benazir report again…” “Litchi garden report again…” “AHM Khairuzzaman Liton’s family report again...” “Now face the consequence… son of a pig… son of a bitch…” etc...etc. RAB wants to kills me in the name of 'Crossfire or Encounter'.
I was under medical attention of Rajshahi central jail for 10 days. As a new detainee I was went to the case table in front of the trial court of the Jail house on the first day. When I went to case table, two detainees holding me from my two sides. I had no power to walk. I could not even sit properly, only could put pressure in one side of the bottom. I was broke into my tears. Many cases were lodged against me. I was being prepared to be killed in “crossfire or Encounter.”
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I came to know later that another false extortion case was lodged against me by Abdul Jalil who is the father of a rapist Chatradol cadre Harun in the Puthia police station. The son of the plaintiff was caught red handed by the
peoples while doing to rape a teenager girl. Harun was later released on acquitted. Abdul Jalil, father of Harun was murdered a poor farmer & activist of Bangladesh Awami League Abdul Halim by poison because he (Halim) refused to withdraw the rape case against the rapist Harun. I had conducted the fact-finding mission of this rape case and identified Harun and his father Abdul Jalil as the offender.
Mahfujul Alam Loton, the plaintiff of the first extortion case against me, witness Ziaul Haque Tuku and Asaduzzaman Asad all are working as a RAB sources. I filed a GD (No. 310) against Loton on March 7, 2000 because after my report had been published in the daily Sangbad on March 4, 2000 members of his gang tried to kill me. Later Asaduzzaman Asad, a witness in Loton’s case took Taka 30,000 as extortion from a local businessman but he used my name. This was reported in the daily Sangbad, “Extortion is use the name of a journalist,” on January 19, of 2003.
Delwar Hossain Waqfo Estate is well known in Rajshahi. Due to corruption allegation with the management, I reported with the Daily Sangbad on 9 April 2002 and 17 December 2006. I also reported in CSB News on 25 April 2007 on the same. For this reason, Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton (son of sacked Motawalli of the estate Mr. Abdus Samad) filed an extortion case against me with Boalia Model Police Station. Because, Motowalli Mr. Abdus Samad was terminated from his responsibility for corruption. Mr. Loton is also a paternal uncle of A H M Khairuzzaman Liton, newly elected Mayor of Rajshahi. I did many facts findings report about Extra-Judicial Killing and published/broadcasted series of report in this connection on DW, CSB News & the the daily Sangbad.
I was freed from Rajshahi central jail on 19th November, 2007 after 28 day’s’. But, again an extortion false case filed against me on 25th November, 2007. The plaintiff Mr. Abdul Latif Biswas is a accused in a sensational extortion case. I reported with the daily Sangbad on 23rd August 2003 against Mr. Latif on his antisocial activity. Mr. Latif is the President of Puthia BNP & former administrator of Puthia municipality. On November 21, 2007 I received once again threat by the RAB that I would be booked with yet another fabricated charge and would be shot dead as if I was killed in an encounter or crossfire.
I am surprised that none of the regular benches of the High Court Division has heard the petition of me since the reopening of the courts although
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Justice A F M Abdur Rahman's vacation bench ordered that the case to be placed before a regular bench when the court is reopened. I regret that the High Court has neither held the RAB officials accountable for violating its
order as a contempt of court charge nor the magistrates of the Rajshahi CMM Court for detaining me in prison in the case for which I was already bailed by the High Court.
The magistrate's courts and judge's courts in Bangladesh has recently been separated from the executive branch of the government, which was in effect since 1st November 2007. On this, I am inquisitive to learn whether the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, which is the authority to deal with the subordinate judiciary of the country, has yet taken any action regarding these issues involving contempt of courts and unauthorized abuses of governmental power. Not only me, but my family also is under threat from the RAB. As of now I am keeping myself away from my home in order to be safe.
There is an another shocking news I have learned that the key perpetrator, Major Rashidul Hassan Rashid, a military officer deputed in the RAB, who played the leading role in these extra-judicial killings of the victims Ahsan Habib Babu, a students league, Kamrul Islam alias Maznu Sheikh, a Workers Party leader, Ali Jafor Babu, a prominent businessmen and about twnty others. Some other persons like Benzir and jail guard Shahebul Islam is highly affected and became disabled by their torture. Major Rashid is recruited to serve in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Ivory Coast; he was joined the UN Mission on 10th July, 2008. It is to be noted that I have informed it by a high ranking police officer of Rajshahi range and one RAB officials but I committed them not to disclose their identity. Everybody may understand how the Bangladeshi authorities look into the matters of human rights abuses and treat the victims and the perpetrators as well, according to their policy.
The journalist and human rights defender Mr.Tasneem Khalil who wrote an article to criticize the government was taken to the army camp in DGFI by army and brutally beaten. Now he was exiled by the Bangladesh government and lives in Sweden. There are so many examples like the above three incidents.
Torture has been a familiar and widespread problem in Bangladesh. It is a routine feature of criminal investigations used by the police to obtain confessions. It is also used for politically motivated purposes against alleged national security suspects, government's critics and perceived political opponents to obtain information to intimidate or to convey more broadly
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message of fear. The system of detention is also a kind of serious violation of human rights. On 11th January 2007, the state emergency was declared and more draconian Emergency Rules issued on 25th January which initially
Prohibited political activity, processions, meeting, assemblies, demonstrations, and trade union activities etc and the restrictions also imposed on press freedom.
The emergency regulation have also facilitated arbitrary arrests of a wide rang of government critics peaceful protesters and political party members. About twenty thousands of people have been arbitrary arrested under emergency rule though exact figure are not available. Those detained include nearly 200 senior political leaders, prominent businessmen and the government officials.
Emergency powers encourage mistreatment in detention. The security forces frequently arrest people in the middle of the night without warrant. They are often in plainclothes and offer no identification and cite the emergency laws to justify their actions, Instead of bringing those people under arrest before a Magistrate, the security forces routinely take them to Army barracks and other unofficial places of detention where they are subject to mistreatment and torture.
Specially unauthorized killing in the name of Crossfire & Encounter was started in the regime of Khaleda Zia government which is uninterrupted till now. Not get justice is a common feature in Bangladesh. About 15 journalists were killed in last 15 years. But most of cases still not trial. Not only that, father of the nation Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed with his seventeen family members including child and women by Army. After 30 years trial has done but yet not execute.
Around six hundreds people have reportedly been killed by the RAB, a paramilitary police force whose members are drawn from the Army and police, set up in March, 2004. Sources say the deaths have been caused by crossfire between RAB agents and suspected criminals, but there are persistent reports that the deaths have been deliberate killings by the RAB. Despite this, no RAB agents have ever been brought to justice for any of the killings. The caretaker government like previous governments in Bangladesh has failed to protect people against Army and RAB excesses, or to bring any of their personnel to justice for abusing human rights, torture and killings.
Professionals like journalists and human rights activists of Bangladesh facing arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, fabricated charges and death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces while the atrocities of the law-enforcers are criticized in various media. Since the state
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of emergency was imposed in the country such threat and intimidations by state’s security forces have alarmingly increased here. Yet none of the alleged perpetrators have been prosecuted for their alleged crimes. As a result, the worst type of culture of impunity is cultivated in Bangladesh, despite the nation’s presence in the UN human rights council since May, 2006.
It is common practice in Bangladesh that the law-enforcing agents use the criminals as their source with purpose of repressing criminal’s activities. However, the law-enforcers frequently overlook the crimes committed by their source and indirectly protect them. Besides, the law-enforcers often abuse their authority and use their sources to punish their personal opponents by fabricating the complaints against them or blackmailing or even killing those people.
I want to give a few recommendations to establish the freedom of press and to protect the human rights which is the first and main step to establish the rule of law and to develop a country, the culture of democracy should be practiced continuously and strictly in this regard regional cooperation forum can be formed and it should be active forming a few rules and it should be maintain strictly.
Freedom of press should be grunted in Bangladesh constitution it is grunted in article 39 (b) but it is not binding upon the government therefore we should fight to establish the rule of constitution. Judiciary should be independent in practical and all kinds of killing by the machineries of the government should be stopped. No persons should be torture by the law enforcing agencies. No rule or ordinance can be formed or passed which are contradictory to the main theme of constitution. No accused persons should be impunity. UN charter should be followed strictly and in this regard the international organization should act impartial and independent. In conclusion, we the people of this region will get the way of development peace, fundamental rights and torture-free citizen life with regional cooperation.

Jahangir Alam Akash
Journalist & Human Rights Activists
C-361 Seroil, Ghoramara-6100
Boalia, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Cell : +8801720084944
E-mail : jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

Bridging gaps between the United States and the Asian Muslim World

Bridging gaps between the United States and the Asian Muslim World

By Jahangir Alam Akash

There are so many gaps between the United States of America and the Muslim World specially the Asian Muslim world. Social, Geographical, Economical and Political conditions of the Muslim countries are the main hindrance to develop the relation with United States of America.
Most of the Asian Muslim countries are very poor or developing economically. More over democracy is not establish yet in these countries. Some people of these countries think that the door of democracy with the help of USA government.
Though the Donner countries including USA used to help the democratic countries. Therefore democracy should be guaranteed first. Most of the individuals of these Muslim countries are very much poor. They are always fighting for their lives. Sometimes these needy people being misguided join different militant groups. Therefore expansion of these militant groups can be stooped by economic development of these individuals.
The main theme of Islam should be established in these countries. Mispresentation of Islam should be restricted. It is also be campaign especially electronic media that the main theme of all most all religious are same.
The view point of USA media is that only the Muslim are militant which is to be changed. International policy of USA should be modified from this view point.
In conclusion, it is to be said that it is must to bridge up the gaps between the USA and the Asian Muslim countries for global necessity.



Jahangir Alam Akash
Journalist & Human Rights Activists
C-361 Seroil, Ghoramara-6100
Boalia, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Cell : +8801720084944
E-mail : jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brutal torture by Bangladesh Army & Impunity

I am Jahangir Alam Akash, Rajshahi bureau chief of the ‘Daily Sangbad’ and recently closed down 24 hours television channel ‘CBS News’ and Freelance Correspondent for the Radio German Deutsche Welle-DW(Bengali Service), Area Coordinator for the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), Coordinator of Taskforce Against Torture (TFT) and elected General Secretary for the Rajshahi Union of Journalists (RUJ). My national ID No. 8192227219372. My Birthday is 20th January. My Passport no is A 0390289.
I have been engaged in journalism for last 19 years. I have completed BA (Hon ours) and MA in Philosophy from the University of Rajshahi and acquired a Post-Graduate Diploma in Civic Journalism from the Department of Mass Communication & Journalism of the same university. I also worked with Ekushey Television, Dainik Bangla, Banglar Bani, Ajker Kagoj, The New Nation, The Morning Sun and The Associated Press of Bangladesh (APB).
I have been facing at least three extortion false charges which are fabricated. In my work I have on numerous occasions disclosed the atrocities of the RAB in cases involving human rights violations. Due to reporting on corruption and violation of human rights, I have been facing false extortion cases one after another. Because of reporting on scam in Waqfo estate management and shooting a top terror in front of his wife and little daughter, RAB-5 Rajshahi members detained me and tortured inhumanely although I was in bail.
The time when the present Caretaker Government is working on stopping corruption and to uphold human rights, here a Journalist-cum-Human Rights activist are being harassed by false cases due to reporting on corruption and human rights violation. Extreme unfair and unjustified actions are being taken on me. I was harassed for professional reasons by clear conspiracy and series of false cases. I want relief from these tortures and harassment. I want to live a normal life with my family. Now, I am staying in Dhaka with my fifteen months old son Fiman Farnad & my wife Farhana Sarmin.
"On 2 May 2007 at around 5:30 pm, a message came to me that an incident of 'crossfire' took place in the house of Mr. Mohammad Benzir in the Hoseniganj Betpatti area, Rajshahi city. Then and there, I and my colleague Mr. Tofayel Ahammad along with cameraperson Mohammad Masud rushed to the scene and recorded the video footage of the incident. We received information from Benzir's family members that the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel shot at the legs of Mr. Benzir in front of his wife and daughter in his bed room.
None of the RAB personnel, who were involved in the alleged operation, did agree to give their statements in front of television camera regarding the incident. In the evening, I send the report to my office [Dhaka] from my office [in Rajshahi]. In a news bulletin broadcasted at 1:00 am early in the following morning [3 May 2007], the report was screened on air.
On this, at 9:33 pm on 3 May 2007 I received a call in my mobile phone number: [+88]01720084944 from RAB officer Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid from another mobile number: [+88]01714049431. I said 'salam' when I received the phone. As soon as I received the phone, the caller asked me that why the broadcasting of the news regarding the RAB's operation was stopped just after airing only two bulletins. In reply, I told the person that 'it is a matter of the head office'.
He [Major Rashid] became annoyed with me and said, ‘You broadcasted this report intentionally.' I replied, '‘It is my professional duty, not more intention at all.' He [Major Rashid] asked, "Why did you broadcast the crying face and statements of Benzir's wife and daughter?" In response, I asked him, “Do you want to know it officially?”
At this stage, Major Rashid became very rude and I cannot mention the words he shouted at me in my language [the language was very bad]; he was outraged and said, "If you fail to give the right answer that why did you broadcast the report, then I shall take actions against you" I said, "I have not committed any crime." Major Rashid asked again, "Why did the other TV channels not broadcast the same report? You did it intentionally and your this particular action belongs to 'anti-state activity'."
He [Major Rashid] again said, "Mind it, you, any of your colleagues and the camera of the CSB News are not seen at all within the jurisdiction and activities of RAB. If it is seen any further that you or your CSB's camera is close to the activities of the RAB, then RAB go for action against you. After this, he [Major Rashid] disconnected the (mobile phone) line."
After giving the detailed address, I signed on my written statement, which was received with signature and official chop by the Reader to APC [Assistant Police Commissioner], Model Police Station, Boalia, RMP, Rajshahi on 3 July 2007. Mr. Golam Mostofa, the Field Officer of the National Security Intelligence (NSI) interrogated me regarding the said intimidation and threats on 15 July 2007.
Besides, at around 6.00pm on 22 July 2007, Mr. Moyeen, an Inspector of the Special Branch of the Rajshahi city of the RMP visited my office and took my statement. Inspector Moyeen also asked about the security problem of me, I replied that the RAB is involved in extra judicial killings in the country and I feared that I could be a victim of such killing. I reported that I have been continuing my works but worry that the RAB or his men may target me for further harassment or intimidation.
After this event, CSB News Channel was closed down on 6th September, 2007. A human rights defender as well as journalist, I have been facing several allegedly false extortion charges in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Even though a vacation bench of the High Court granted me bail on October 16, 2007 on one of cases, the Rapid Action Battalion-5 arbitrarily arrested, allegedly tortured me on October 24, 2007 and detained me. The Magistrate's Court issued an ordered to detain me in prison where I remained for 28 days. My legal representative submitted all the necessary documents required for the trial but a judge of the Rajshahi Judge's Court issued an arrest warrant without considering the documents.
The cases that I have been implicated in are No. 2 of the Boalia police station, dated 2 October 2007 lodged by Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton, No. 13 of the Puthia police station, dated 23 October 2007 lodged by Mr. Abdul Jalil and No. 28 of Puthia police station, dated 25 November 2007 lodged by Mr. Abdul Latif Biswas. All cases are extortion charges, which I strongly denies.
Justice Mr. A F M Abdur Rahman of the vacation bench of the High Court, which runs instead of a regular bench during vacation periods, granted an ad-interim bail to me in one of my cases (No. 2 of Boalia police station, dated 2 October 2007) charged under section 385/386 of the Penal Code on 16 October 2007. It further mentioned that this case would be heard before a regular bench when the court reopens.
Despite of the order from the High Court, the RAB-5 arbitrarily arrested me on October 24, 2007. I was tortured and later detained me the Rajshahi Central Jail for 28 days through the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court in the region.
On November 8, 2008 Magistrate Mr. Oli Ahmed from the CMM Court's ordered the dropping of the case against me under the article of 16(2) of the Emergency Powers Rules-2007 in my first case, as the country is still under the state of emergency, when I was detained in the Rajshahi Central Jail.
However, the Ministry of Home Affairs sanctioned a note forwarded by the district administration of Rajshahi for the case on November 25, 2007. It is alleged that the district administration forwarded a petition due to the pressure from the RAB-5 based in Rajshahi city.
As the country has been under a State of Emergency since 11 January 2007, attaching any case within the jurisdiction of the Emergency Powers Rules-2007 supplements a trial of the cases within 45 days since the beginning of the trial. In order for doing so, Mr. Mohammod Hossain, my legal advocate, lodged a writ petition (No. 10905/2007) on December 13, 2007 to the bench of the High Court under the Article 102((2) (A) (II) of the Constitution of Bangladesh to challenge the interventions from the Ministry and the district administration.
On 2 January 2008, the bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Mr. A B M Khairul Haque and Justice Mr. Abdul Awal ruled that it stayed the sanction issued by the district administration by way of the Ministry of Home Affairs for three months after a hearing. It also asked the representatives of the Government to give a reason why the sanction issued by the Ministry was not declared as unlawful. (Those representatives, in this case, are the Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, the Additional Secretary of Law Department-1 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Sessions Judge of Rajshahi district, the Additional Inspector General of Police (Offence)-2, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Head Quarter) of the Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, and Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton who lodged a complaint against me.)
Still I and my family are living in separate places due to security problems as we continuously receive threats and intimidation from the complainants of the fabricated cases as well as the officers of the RAB-5 based in Rajshahi district and some corrupt powerful influential political leaders.
On 7 January 2008, Mr. Mohammod Hossain, my legal advocate submitted all necessary documents including his certificate and an affidavit from Farhana Sarmin, my wife (She is an university student), to the Judge Court. Judge Mr. AR Mas-ud of Rajshahi District Session Judge's Court issued an arrest warrant against me without considering the documents submitted.
This case illustrates how the law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh simply ignored the decision or order of the courts. It also illustrates there are dysfunctions in the judiciary system in Bangladesh. Even though the vacation bench of the High Court granted my bail on October 16, 2007 the RAB arbitrarily arrested me on October 24, 2007 and the Rajshahi CMM Court issued an order to detain me in prison where I had to remain for 28 days until I was bailed by the Court of Session Judge of Rajshahi.

It was known on August 28, 2007 that I was implicated in an alleged false extortion charge (Reference: General Diary No. 1160) lodged by Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton, the vice president of the Bangladesh Awami League of the Rajshahi City Unit on 20 June 2007, which I strongly insisted that Loton's complaint against me was completely false and Mr. Loton made it because I had published a number of reports in the media detailing the misdeeds of Mr. Loton. It is known that, Mr. Loton and his two friends Mr. Asad and Mr. Tuku have been working as the RAB's source.
Mr Loton is the uncle of Mr. A H M Khairuzzaman Liton, Bangladesh Awami League leader and Mayor-elect of Rajshahi. He is the powerful & influential leader of Rajshahi. He is the one of mastermind against my arrest, tortured, detained and false charges. He was newly elected Mayor of Rajshahi. For this reason, again I am fearing and insecurity problem.
At around 12:30am on October 24, 2007 RAB-5 in Rajshahi region arbitrarily arrested me and hung me from the ceiling for around 9 hours and severely beat me in the army (RAB) camp. Then, RAB-5 handed me over to the Boalia police, who then produced me before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Rajshahi, under arrest for Section 16(2) of the Emergency Powers Rules-2007. Though, any magistrate had not present in that day. I have been implicated in another fabricated extortion case (Case number: Puthia police station No. 13 of 2007) under the Bangladesh Penal Code lodged by a person named Abdul Jalil on October 23, 2007. However Jalil is an accused murderer and father of a rapist JCD (JCD is the student wing of BNP) cadre Harun. A rape case against Harun in which I had conducted the fact-finding mission and identified him as the offender.
On November 21, 2007 I received once again threat by the RAB that I would be booked with yet another fabricated charge and would be shot dead as if I was killed in an encounter or crossfire.
In spite of the bail grants by the higher court the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-5 arrested me without any warrant from my rent house violating the order of the High Court vacation Bench; the RAB tortured me during arrest and in detention at the RAB camp, and later detained me in the Rajshahi Central Jail for 28 days through the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court of Rajshahi.
I am surprised that none of the regular benches of the High Court Division has heard the petition of me since the reopening of the courts although Justice A F M Abdur Rahman's vacation bench ordered that the case to be placed before a regular bench when the court is reopened. I regret that the High Court has neither held the RAB officials accountable for violating its order as a contempt of court charge nor the magistrates of the Rajshahi CMM Court for detaining me in prison in the case for which I was already bailed by the High Court.
The magistrate's courts and judge's courts in Bangladesh has recently been separated from the executive branch of the government, which was in effect since 1 November 2007. On this, I am inquisitive to learn whether the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, which is the authority to deal with the subordinate judiciary of the country, has yet taken any action regarding these issues involving contempt of courts and unauthorized abuses of governmental power.
Not only me, but my family also is under threat from the RAB. As of now I am keeping myself away from my home in order to be safe.
This is not any isolated example of such harassments on human rights defenders or journalists in Bangladesh. I have learned that it is a very common phenomenon for the professionals like journalists and human rights defenders of Bangladesh facing arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, fabricated charges and death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces while the atrocities of the law-enforcers are criticized in various media. I am also very much concerned that since the state of emergency was imposed in the country such threats and intimidations by state's security forces have alarmingly increased here (Bangladesh). Yet none of the alleged perpetrators have been prosecuted for their alleged crimes. As a result, the worst type of culture of impunity is cultivated in Bangladesh, despite the nation's presence in the UN Human Rights Council since May 2006. I am also concerned about the reports of torture, ill-treatment, extra-judicial killings by the armed security forces for last one and half year under a state of emergency.
Why the lawsuits… On December 1, 2006, RAB murdered Ahsan Habib Babu, a Chatra Leage leader from Durgapur. On May 2, 2007 Benazir (BNP) was shot by RAB in front of his wife and minor daughter. On May 16, 2007 RAB tortured jail-guard Sahebul Islam. RAB killed a Warkers Party local Leader Kamrul Islam alias Majnu Sheikh in a litchi garden in Choto Bangram of Rajshahi on May 18, 2007.
I reported these incidents in CSB News, Deutsche Welle and in Daily Sangbad. When Benazir was shot on May 2, 2007 it was reported by me in CSB News. RAB-5 Second in command Major Rashidul Hasan threatened me on May 3 and said RAB will take action against me. I complained to Amnesty International and Human Rights Commission regarding this threat. Then an investigation was commissioned. I gave my testimony to NSI, SB and Police. For these reasons RAB was furious with me.
On the April 9, 2002 and on the December 17, 2006 I reported about the corruption in the management of Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate in Rajshahi. On March 4, of 2000 I reported about Mahfuzul Alam Loton, the son of the sacked Motawali (of the Estate) Abdus Samad and his gang’s terrorist activities. On April 25, 2007 my report on the corruption of this estate was broadcasted by CSB News.
Working as a regional coordinator of a human rights organization, Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, I did some fact-finding on RAB’s human rights violations especially extra judicial killings. These facts were sent to the Home minister, Prime minister and the Chief adviser seeking necessary actions.
Reacting to my reports in CSB News and Daily Sangbad on corruption in Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate in Rajshahi, Mahfuzul Alam Loton, son the Motawali Abdus Samad filed a GD (General Diary No. 1160) on June 20, 2007 charging me of a false extortion attempt of Taka 50,000 in the Boalia model police station.
After closed CSB News On October 2, the same complaint was submitted in the same police station as Izahar and it was recorded as a case (No. 2, Section 385/386). I immediately applied to the high court and received an ad-interim bail. But violating the court ruling RAB arrested me on the October 24 at 12.30am.
I was blindfolded with a towel, covered with a mask and was taken to RAB-5 office. I was beaten by RAB in front of my 4-month old son Fiman Farnad (now 14 month old) and my wife Farhana Sarmin was also witness to this. At the same time when Likhon, 26, the son of my landlord Mr. Abul Kashem, asked about the identity of the persons arresting me. He was also beaten.
After my arrival in RAB-5 office I was kept hanging from ceiling with ropes in my hands, with the mask on my face. In the morning the RAB commander Major Rashidul Hasan and Humayun Kabir (DAD) tortured me physically. They have sworn nasty words towards me. Major Rashid was gave me electric shocks. They handed me over to Boalia police station at 4:30 in the afternoon under section 54 (Under Section 16/2 of Emergency Power Rules-EPR.
Boalia police station put me on CMM court under section 16 (2) of the emergency act. I came to know later that another false extortion case was lodged against me by Abdul Jalil who is the father of a rapist Chatradol cadre Harun in the Puthia police station. The son of the plaintiff was caught red handed by the peoples while doing to rape a teenager girl. Harun was later released on acquitted. Abdul Jalil, father of Harun was murdered a poor farmer & activist of Bangladesh Awami League Abdul Halim by poison because he refused to withdraw the rape case against the rapist Harun.
Mahfujul Alam Loton, the plaintiff of the extortion case against me, witness Ziaul Haque Tuku and Asaduzzaman Asad all are working as a RAB sources. I filed a GD (No. 310) against Loton on March 7, 2000 because after my report had been published in Daily Sangbad on March 4, 2000 members of his gang tried to kill me.
Later Asaduzzaman Asad, a witness in Loton’s case took Taka 30,000 as extortion from a local businessman but he used my name. This was reported in Daily Sangbad, “Extortion using the name of a journalist,” on January 19, of 2003. I was under medical attention of Rajshahi central jail for 10 days.
As a new detainee I was went to the case table in front of the trial court of the Jail house on the first day. When I went to case table two detainee holding me from two sides. I had no power to walk. I could not even sit properly, only could put pressure in one side of the bottom.
I was broke into my tears. Many cases were lodged against me. I was being prepared to be killed in “crossfire or Encounter.”
On October 23, 2007 late at night, around 10 to 12 plainclothes RAB members came to my rent house. When I and my wife asked for their identity they said they were government officials. We said if they don’t identify themselves we won’t open the gate. In the meantime I tried to contact others. The son of the landlord came down from his flat and asked them why they were not identifying themselves. He was beaten and sworn at for this.
In the meantime police also came. I was opened the door but the front grill of the house was still locked. My 4-month old son was in my lap. I was arrested instantly after opening the lock. A mask was put on my face. Before mask my eye’s covered a towel. My son was still in my hands. They searched the house but found nothing. They took me to RAB’s camp in Binodpur of Rajshahi. I was kept hanging from the ceiling with my hands tied with ropes. I was beaten mercilessly on feet and back.
I was tortured the whole night until about 4.00pm, the next afternoon. My fault was that I reported about RAB’s offenses (extra judicial killings). RAB arrested one of terrorist Benazir last May on the charges of possession of illegal arms. While arresting him they shot both of his legs in front of his minor daughter Prianka and wife. Benazir is now crippled with two bullet marks on his feet. He is also detained in this hospital area of Rajshahi central jail. RAB did not find any arms from him. I reported about this in CSB News and broadcasted interviews of his wife and daughter.
RAB murdered an innocent man Workars party leader named Majnu in a litchi garden in the town. The reason probably someone wanted him to be killed. I also reported this. So I became a target. I have been framed in multiple cases and is being tortured. When I was being tortured I was being shout at with these kinds of words… “Will you do the Benazir report again…” “Litchi garden report again…” “AHM Khairuzzaman Liton’s family report again...” “Now face the consequence… son of a pig… son of a bitch…” etc...etc…
Delwar Hossain Waqfo Estate is well known in Rajshahi. Due to corruption allegation with the management, I reported with the Daily Sangbad on 9 April 2002 and 17 December 2006. I also reported in CSB News on 25 April 2007 on the same. For this reason, Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton (son of Motawalli of estate Mr. Abdus Samad) filed an extortion case against me with Boalia Model Police Station. Because, Motowalli Mr. Abdus Samad was terminated from his responsibility for corruption. Mr. Loton is also a paternal uncle of A H M Khairuzzaman Liton, General Secretary of Rajshahi city Awami League & a central member of Bangladesh Awami League. I did many facts findings report about Extra-Judicial Killing and published/broadcasted series of report in this connection on DW, CSB News & the Dainik Sangbad.
On October 2, the same complaint was submitted in the Boalia police station as Izahar and it was recorded as a case (No. 2, Section 385/386). I immediately applied to the high court and received an ad-interim anticipatory bail on October 16. But violating the court order RAB arrested me on the October 24 at 1 am, late in the night.
I was blindfolded with a towel, covered with a mask and was taken to RAB-5 office. I was beaten by RAB in front of my 4 month old son Fiman Farnad and my wife Farhana Sarmin was also witness to this. At the same time when Likhon, the son of my landlord, asked about the identity of the persons arresting me. He was also beaten.
After my arrival in RAB-5 office I was kept hanging from ceiling with ropes in my hands, with the mask on my face. In the morning the RAB-5 Second in command Major Mr. Rashidul Hasan and Mr. Humayun Kabir (DAD) tortured me physically. They have sworn nasty words towards me. They handed me over to Boalia police station at 4:30 in the afternoon under section 54.
Boalia police station put me on court under section 16 (2) of the Emergency Power Rules (EPR)-2007. I was under medical attention of Rajshahi central jail. I came to know later that the father of a rapist Chatradol cadre in the Puthia police station lodged another false extortion case against me. The son of the plaintiff in the Puthia police station case was caught red handed while trying to rape a teenager girl. He was later released on acquitted. The rape victim’s father Abdul Halim was murdered by poison because he refused to withdraw the case against the rapist. And the plaintiff is accused mastermind murderer of the rape victim’s father Mr. Abdul Halim. Mr. Halim was a day labor. I was freed from Rajshahi central jail on 19 November, 2007 after 28 day’. But, again an extortion false case filed against me on 25 November, 2007. The plaintiff Mr. Abdul Latif Biswas is a accused in a sensational extortion case. I reported with the Daily Sangbad on 23 August 2003 against Mr. Latif on his antisocial activity. Mr. Latif is the President of Puthia BNP & former administrator of Puthia municipality.
Mahafujul Loton, the plaintiff of the extortion case against me, witness Ziaul Haque Tuku and Asaduzzaman Asad all are working as a RAB sources. I filed a general diary GD (No. 310) against Loton on March 7, 2000 because after my report had been published in Daily Sangbad on March 4, 2000, members of his gang tried to kill me.
Later Asaduzzaman Asad, a witness in Loton’s case took Taka 30,000 as extortion from a local businessman but he used my name. This was reported in Daily Sangbad, “Extortion using the name of a journalist,” on January 19, of 2003.
The charge sheet of the cases filed with the Boalia Model Police has been submitted on 30 October 2007. The case has been transferred to the Emergency Powers Rules. There were three extortion cases have been filed against me in 53 days.
The High Court, however, issued a Rule upon the government in reference to the case transferred to the Emergency Power Rules-EPR 2007 when I filed the Writ Petition (WP Number 10905/2007). The Court also adjourned the transfer order for next three months on 2 January 2008. But, The District Sessions and Judge Court, Rajshahi issued arrest warrant against me on 7 January violating the Rule issued by the High Court. Meanwhile, on 14 January, 2008 Rajshahi Judge Court adjourned the case from 8 January to 12 April, 2008 upon the Rule from the High Court keeping the arrest warrant valid. Later I was got bail from High Court.
On the other hand, accused torturer army officer (posted in RAB) Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid was went to Ivorecost and joined the UN peace keeping mission from Bangladesh Army.
In current situation is very bed for my life. First case against me which was filed by Mr. Mahafujul Alam Loton, is an uncle of Mayor-elect of Rajshahi City Corporation Mr. A H M Khairuzzaman Liton. Mr. Loton and Liton is the powerful leader of Bangladesh Awami League. Last 4th August Mr. Liton was elected Mayor of Rajshahi. After his victory Mr. Loton and his associates were threatened me verbally. Not only that an associates of Mr. Liton was filed a general diary with false charges against my father in law Advocate Mr. Tajul Islam Mohammad Farooq, president of Bangladesh Awami League and Ex. Member of Parliament by false charges. So, I feel very fearing. Special mention that, Mr. Liton is the main mastermind of the conspiracy against me. So, I want to leave my country. Please help me and safe my life & my family.
Not only that, the 8th September was held of Rajshahi Union of Journalists election. I am the general secretary candidate of this election. Mayor A H M Khairuzzaman Liton and Workers Party Polite Bureau member Mr. Fazle Hossen Badsha was campaign against me. For this reason, I was defeated only one vote.
Finally I want to say, the false and fabricated cases have been filed against me just because of reporting on corruption and human rights violation। But I am tired physically, mentally and economically। I want to live. I want to go back to my profession and regular normal life. I strongly say that my stand is clear for the country and upholding human rights and also against all sort of corruption. Perhaps I would have to accept jail for false charge cases but I would never down my head to conspiracy and false allegation. I believe if I would not get justice from the society or country, but would definitely get “natural justice”.

Jahangir Alam Akash
Journalist & Human Rights Activists
C-361 Seroil, Ghoramara-6100
Boalia, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Cell : +8801720084944
E-mail : jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Security problem of a Bangladeshi journalist


Due to professional activity
After arrest torture and detention by RAB
A Bangladeshi journalist-human rights activist
facing false charges and continuous threatened


I am Jahangir Alam Akash, Rajshahi bureau chief of the ‘Daily Sangbad’ and recently closed down 24 hours television channel ‘CBS News’ and Freelance Correspondent for the Radio German Deutsche Welle-DW(Bengali Service), Regional Coordinator for the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights and elected General Secretary for the Rajshahi Union of Journalists (RUJ). My national ID No. 8192227219372. My Birthday is 20th January. My Passport no is A 0390289.
I have been engaged in journalism for last 19 years. I have completed BA (Hon ours) and MA in Philosophy from the University of Rajshahi and acquired a Post-Graduate Diploma in Civic Journalism from the Department of Mass Communication & Journalism of the same university. I also worked with Ekushey Television, Dainik Bangla, Banglar Bani, Ajker Kagoj, The New Nation, The Morning Sun and The Associated Press of Bangladesh (APB).
I have been facing at least three extortion false charges which are fabricated. In my work I have on numerous occasions disclosed the atrocities of the RAB in cases involving human rights violations. Due to reporting on corruption and violation of human rights, I have been facing false extortion cases one after another. Because of reporting on scam in Waqfo estate management and shooting a top terror in front of his wife and little daughter, RAB-5 Rajshahi members detained me and tortured inhumanely although I was in bail.
The time when the present Caretaker Government is working on stopping corruption and to uphold human rights, here a Journalist-cum-Human Rights activist are being harassed by false cases due to reporting on corruption and human rights violation. Extreme unfair and unjustified actions are being taken on me. I was harassed for professional reasons by clear conspiracy and series of false cases. I want relief from these tortures and harassment. I want to live a normal life with my family. Now, I am staying in Dhaka with my fourteen month old son Fiman Farnad & my wife Farhana Sarmin.
"On 2 May 2007 at around 5:30 pm, a message came to me that an incident of 'crossfire' took place in the house of Mr. Mohammad Benzir in the Hoseniganj Betpatti area, Rajshahi city. Then and there, I and my colleague Mr. Tofayel Ahammad along with cameraperson Mohammad Masud rushed to the scene and recorded the video footage of the incident. We received information from Benzir's family members that the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel shot at the legs of Mr. Benzir in front of his wife and daughter in his bed room.
None of the RAB personnel, who were involved in the alleged operation, did agree to give their statements in front of television camera regarding the incident. In the evening, I send the report to my office [Dhaka] from my office [in Rajshahi]. In a news bulletin broadcasted at 1:00 am early in the following morning [3 May 2007], the report was screened on air.
On this, at 9:33 pm on 3 May 2007 I received a call in my mobile phone number: [+88]01720084944 from RAB officer Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid from another mobile number: [+88]01714049431. I said 'salam' when I received the phone. As soon as I received the phone, the caller asked me that why the broadcasting of the news regarding the RAB's operation was stopped just after airing only two bulletins. In reply, I told the person that 'it is a matter of the head office'.
He [Major Rashid] became annoyed with me and said, ‘You broadcasted this report intentionally.' I replied, '‘It is my professional duty, not more intention at all.' He [Major Rashid] asked, "Why did you broadcast the crying face and statements of Benzir's wife and daughter?" In response, I asked him, “Do you want to know it officially?”
At this stage, Major Rashid became very rude and I cannot mention the words he shouted at me in my language [the language was very bad]; he was outraged and said, "If you fail to give the right answer that why did you broadcast the report, then I shall take actions against you" I said, "I have not committed any crime." Major Rashid asked again, "Why did the other TV channels not broadcast the same report? You did it intentionally and your this particular action belongs to 'anti-state activity'."
He [Major Rashid] again said, "Mind it, you, any of your colleagues and the camera of the CSB News are not seen at all within the jurisdiction and activities of RAB. If it is seen any further that you or your CSB's camera is close to the activities of the RAB, then RAB go for action against you. After this, he [Major Rashid] disconnected the (mobile phone) line."
After giving the detailed address, I signed on my written statement, which was received with signature and official chop by the Reader to APC [Assistant Police Commissioner], Model Police Station, Boalia, RMP, Rajshahi on 3 July 2007. Mr. Golam Mostofa, the Field Officer of the National Security Intelligence (NSI) interrogated me regarding the said intimidation and threats on 15 July 2007.
Besides, at around 6.00pm on 22 July 2007, Mr. Moyeen, an Inspector of the Special Branch of the Rajshahi city of the RMP visited my office and took my statement. Inspector Moyeen also asked about the security problem of me, I replied that the RAB is involved in extra judicial killings in the country and I feared that I could be a victim of such killing. I reported that I have been continuing my works but worry that the RAB or his men may target me for further harassment or intimidation.
After this event, CSB News Channel was closed down on 6th September, 2007. A human rights defender as well as journalist, I have been facing several allegedly false extortion charges in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Even though a vacation bench of the High Court granted me bail on October 16, 2007 on one of cases, the Rapid Action Battalion-5 arbitrarily arrested, allegedly tortured me on October 24, 2007 and detained me. The Magistrate's Court issued an ordered to detain me in prison where I remained for 28 days. My legal representative submitted all the necessary documents required for the trial but a judge of the Rajshahi Judge's Court issued an arrest warrant without considering the documents.
The cases that I have been implicated in are No. 2 of the Boalia police station, dated 2 October 2007 lodged by Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton, No. 13 of the Puthia police station, dated 23 October 2007 lodged by Mr. Abdul Jalil and No. 28 of Puthia police station, dated 25 November 2007 lodged by Mr. Abdul Latif Biswas. All cases are extortion charges, which I strongly denies.
Justice Mr. A F M Abdur Rahman of the vacation bench of the High Court, which runs instead of a regular bench during vacation periods, granted an ad-interim bail to me in one of my cases (No. 2 of Boalia police station, dated 2 October 2007) charged under section 385/386 of the Penal Code on 16 October 2007. It further mentioned that this case would be heard before a regular bench when the court reopens.
Despite of the order from the High Court, the RAB-5 arbitrarily arrested me on October 24, 2007. I was tortured and later detained me the Rajshahi Central Jail for 28 days through the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court in the region.
On November 8, 2008 Magistrate Mr. Oli Ahmed from the CMM Court's ordered the dropping of the case against me under the article of 16(2) of the Emergency Powers Rules-2007 in my first case, as the country is still under the state of emergency, when I was detained in the Rajshahi Central Jail.
However, the Ministry of Home Affairs sanctioned a note forwarded by the district administration of Rajshahi for the case on November 25, 2007. It is alleged that the district administration forwarded a petition due to the pressure from the RAB-5 based in Rajshahi city.
As the country has been under a State of Emergency since 11 January 2007, attaching any case within the jurisdiction of the Emergency Powers Rules-2007 supplements a trial of the cases within 45 days since the beginning of the trial. In order for doing so, Mr. Mohammod Hossain, my legal advocate, lodged a writ petition (No. 10905/2007) on December 13, 2007 to the bench of the High Court under the Article 102((2) (A) (II) of the Constitution of Bangladesh to challenge the interventions from the Ministry and the district administration.
On 2 January 2008, the bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Mr. A B M Khairul Haque and Justice Mr. Abdul Awal ruled that it stayed the sanction issued by the district administration by way of the Ministry of Home Affairs for three months after a hearing. It also asked the representatives of the Government to give a reason why the sanction issued by the Ministry was not declared as unlawful. (Those representatives, in this case, are the Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, the Additional Secretary of Law Department-1 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Sessions Judge of Rajshahi district, the Additional Inspector General of Police (Offence)-2, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Head Quarter) of the Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, and Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton who lodged a complaint against me.)
Still I and my family are living in separate places due to security problems as we continuously receive threats and intimidation from the complainants of the fabricated cases as well as the officers of the RAB-5 based in Rajshahi district and some corrupt powerful influential political leaders.
On 7 January 2008, Mr. Mohammod Hossain, my legal advocate submitted all necessary documents including his certificate and an affidavit from Farhana Sarmin, my wife (She is an university student), to the Judge Court. Judge Mr. AR Mas-ud of Rajshahi District Session Judge's Court issued an arrest warrant against me without considering the documents submitted.
This case illustrates how the law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh simply ignored the decision or order of the courts. It also illustrates there are dysfunctions in the judiciary system in Bangladesh. Even though the vacation bench of the High Court granted my bail on October 16, 2007 the RAB arbitrarily arrested me on October 24, 2007 and the Rajshahi CMM Court issued an order to detain me in prison where I had to remain for 28 days until I was bailed by the Court of Session Judge of Rajshahi.

It was known on August 28, 2007 that I was implicated in an alleged false extortion charge (Reference: General Diary No. 1160) lodged by Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton, the vice president of the Bangladesh Awami League of the Rajshahi City Unit on 20 June 2007, which I strongly insisted that Loton's complaint against me was completely false and Mr. Loton made it because I had published a number of reports in the media detailing the misdeeds of Mr. Loton. It is known that, Mr. Loton and his two friends Mr. Asad and Mr. Tuku have been working as the RAB's source.
Mr Loton is the uncle of Mr. A H M Khairuzzaman Liton, Bangladesh Awami League leader and Mayor-elect of Rajshahi. He is the powerful & influential leader of Rajshahi. He is the one of mastermind against my arrest, tortured, detained and false charges. He was newly elected Mayor of Rajshahi. For this reason, again I am fearing and insecurity problem.
At around 12:30am on October 24, 2007 RAB-5 in Rajshahi region arbitrarily arrested me and hung me from the ceiling for around 9 hours and severely beat me in the army (RAB) camp. Then, RAB-5 handed me over to the Boalia police, who then produced me before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Rajshahi, under arrest for Section 16(2) of the Emergency Powers Rules-2007. Though, any magistrate had not present in that day. I have been implicated in another fabricated extortion case (Case number: Puthia police station No. 13 of 2007) under the Bangladesh Penal Code lodged by a person named Abdul Jalil on October 23, 2007. However Jalil is an accused murderer and father of a rapist JCD (JCD is the student wing of BNP) cadre Harun. A rape case against Harun in which I had conducted the fact-finding mission and identified him as the offender.
On November 21, 2007 I received once again threat by the RAB that I would be booked with yet another fabricated charge and would be shot dead as if I was killed in an encounter or crossfire.
In spite of the bail grants by the higher court the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-5 arrested me without any warrant from my rent house violating the order of the High Court vacation Bench; the RAB tortured me during arrest and in detention at the RAB camp, and later detained me in the Rajshahi Central Jail for 28 days through the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court of Rajshahi.
I am surprised that none of the regular benches of the High Court Division has heard the petition of me since the reopening of the courts although Justice A F M Abdur Rahman's vacation bench ordered that the case to be placed before a regular bench when the court is reopened. I regret that the High Court has neither held the RAB officials accountable for violating its order as a contempt of court charge nor the magistrates of the Rajshahi CMM Court for detaining me in prison in the case for which I was already bailed by the High Court.
The magistrate's courts and judge's courts in Bangladesh has recently been separated from the executive branch of the government, which was in effect since 1 November 2007. On this, I am inquisitive to learn whether the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, which is the authority to deal with the subordinate judiciary of the country, has yet taken any action regarding these issues involving contempt of courts and unauthorized abuses of governmental power.
Not only me, but my family also is under threat from the RAB. As of now I am keeping myself away from my home in order to be safe.
This is not any isolated example of such harassments on human rights defenders or journalists in Bangladesh. I have learned that it is a very common phenomenon for the professionals like journalists and human rights defenders of Bangladesh facing arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, fabricated charges and death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces while the atrocities of the law-enforcers are criticized in various media. I am also very much concerned that since the state of emergency was imposed in the country such threats and intimidations by state's security forces have alarmingly increased here (Bangladesh). Yet none of the alleged perpetrators have been prosecuted for their alleged crimes. As a result, the worst type of culture of impunity is cultivated in Bangladesh, despite the nation's presence in the UN Human Rights Council since May 2006. I am also concerned about the reports of torture, ill-treatment, extra-judicial killings by the armed security forces for last one and half year under a state of emergency.
Why the lawsuits… On December 1, 2006, RAB murdered Ahsan Habib Babu, a Chatra Leage leader from Durgapur. On May 2, 2007 Benazir (BNP) was shot by RAB in front of his wife and minor daughter. On May 16, 2007 RAB tortured jail-guard Sahebul Islam. RAB killed a Warkers Party local Leader Kamrul Islam alias Majnu Sheikh in a litchi garden in Choto Bangram of Rajshahi on May 18, 2007.
I reported these incidents in CSB News, Deutsche Welle and in Daily Sangbad. When Benazir was shot on May 2, 2007 it was reported by me in CSB News. RAB-5 Second in command Major Rashidul Hasan threatened me on May 3 and said RAB will take action against me. I complained to Amnesty International and Human Rights Commission regarding this threat. Then an investigation was commissioned. I gave my testimony to NSI, SB and Police. For these reasons RAB was furious with me.
On the April 9, 2002 and on the December 17, 2006 I reported about the corruption in the management of Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate in Rajshahi. On March 4, of 2000 I reported about Mahfuzul Alam Loton, the son of the sacked Motawali (of the Estate) Abdus Samad and his gang’s terrorist activities. On April 25, 2007 my report on the corruption of this estate was broadcasted by CSB News.
Working as a regional coordinator of a human rights organization, Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, I did some fact-finding on RAB’s human rights violations especially extra judicial killings. These facts were sent to the Home minister, Prime minister and the Chief adviser seeking necessary actions.
Reacting to my reports in CSB News and Daily Sangbad on corruption in Delwar Hossain Waqf Estate in Rajshahi, Mahfuzul Alam Loton, son the Motawali Abdus Samad filed a GD (General Diary No. 1160) on June 20, 2007 charging me of a false extortion attempt of Taka 50,000 in the Boalia model police station.
After closed CSB News On October 2, the same complaint was submitted in the same police station as Izahar and it was recorded as a case (No. 2, Section 385/386). I immediately applied to the high court and received an ad-interim bail. But violating the court ruling RAB arrested me on the October 24 at 12.30am.
I was blindfolded with a towel, covered with a mask and was taken to RAB-5 office. I was beaten by RAB in front of my 4-month old son Fiman Farnad (now 14 month old) and my wife Farhana Sarmin was also witness to this. At the same time when Likhon, 26, the son of my landlord Mr. Abul Kashem, asked about the identity of the persons arresting me. He was also beaten.
After my arrival in RAB-5 office I was kept hanging from ceiling with ropes in my hands, with the mask on my face. In the morning the RAB commander Major Rashidul Hasan and Humayun Kabir (DAD) tortured me physically. They have sworn nasty words towards me. Major Rashid was gave me electric shocks. They handed me over to Boalia police station at 4:30 in the afternoon under section 54 (Under Section 16/2 of Emergency Power Rules-EPR.
Boalia police station put me on CMM court under section 16 (2) of the emergency act. I came to know later that another false extortion case was lodged against me by Abdul Jalil who is the father of a rapist Chatradol cadre Harun in the Puthia police station. The son of the plaintiff was caught red handed by the peoples while doing to rape a teenager girl. Harun was later released on acquitted. Abdul Jalil, father of Harun was murdered a poor farmer & activist of Bangladesh Awami League Abdul Halim by poison because he refused to withdraw the rape case against the rapist Harun.
Mahfujul Alam Loton, the plaintiff of the extortion case against me, witness Ziaul Haque Tuku and Asaduzzaman Asad all are working as a RAB sources. I filed a GD (No. 310) against Loton on March 7, 2000 because after my report had been published in Daily Sangbad on March 4, 2000 members of his gang tried to kill me.
Later Asaduzzaman Asad, a witness in Loton’s case took Taka 30,000 as extortion from a local businessman but he used my name. This was reported in Daily Sangbad, “Extortion using the name of a journalist,” on January 19, of 2003. I was under medical attention of Rajshahi central jail for 10 days.
As a new detainee I was went to the case table in front of the trial court of the Jail house on the first day. When I went to case table two detainee holding me from two sides. I had no power to walk. I could not even sit properly, only could put pressure in one side of the bottom.
I was broke into my tears. Many cases were lodged against me. I was being prepared to be killed in “crossfire or Encounter.”
On October 23, 2007 late at night, around 10 to 12 plainclothes RAB members came to my rent house. When I and my wife asked for their identity they said they were government officials. We said if they don’t identify themselves we won’t open the gate. In the meantime I tried to contact others. The son of the landlord came down from his flat and asked them why they were not identifying themselves. He was beaten and sworn at for this.
In the meantime police also came. I was opened the door but the front grill of the house was still locked. My 4-month old son was in my lap. I was arrested instantly after opening the lock. A mask was put on my face. Before mask my eye’s covered a towel. My son was still in my hands. They searched the house but found nothing. They took me to RAB’s camp in Binodpur of Rajshahi. I was kept hanging from the ceiling with my hands tied with ropes. I was beaten mercilessly on feet and back.
I was tortured the whole night until about 4.00pm, the next afternoon. My fault was that I reported about RAB’s offenses (extra judicial killings). RAB arrested one of terrorist Benazir last May on the charges of possession of illegal arms. While arresting him they shot both of his legs in front of his minor daughter Prianka and wife. Benazir is now crippled with two bullet marks on his feet. He is also detained in this hospital area of Rajshahi central jail. RAB did not find any arms from him. I reported about this in CSB News and broadcasted interviews of his wife and daughter.
RAB murdered an innocent man Workars party leader named Majnu in a litchi garden in the town. The reason probably someone wanted him to be killed. I also reported this. So I became a target. I have been framed in multiple cases and is being tortured. When I was being tortured I was being shout at with these kinds of words… “Will you do the Benazir report again…” “Litchi garden report again…” “AHM Khairuzzaman Liton’s family report again...” “Now face the consequence… son of a pig… son of a bitch…” etc...etc…
Delwar Hossain Waqfo Estate is well known in Rajshahi. Due to corruption allegation with the management, I reported with the Daily Sangbad on 9 April 2002 and 17 December 2006. I also reported in CSB News on 25 April 2007 on the same. For this reason, Mr. Mahfuzul Alam Loton (son of Motawalli of estate Mr. Abdus Samad) filed an extortion case against me with Boalia Model Police Station. Because, Motowalli Mr. Abdus Samad was terminated from his responsibility for corruption. Mr. Loton is also a paternal uncle of A H M Khairuzzaman Liton, General Secretary of Rajshahi city Awami League & a central member of Bangladesh Awami League. I did many facts findings report about Extra-Judicial Killing and published/broadcasted series of report in this connection on DW, CSB News & the Dainik Sangbad.
On October 2, the same complaint was submitted in the Boalia police station as Izahar and it was recorded as a case (No. 2, Section 385/386). I immediately applied to the high court and received an ad-interim anticipatory bail on October 16. But violating the court order RAB arrested me on the October 24 at 1 am, late in the night.
I was blindfolded with a towel, covered with a mask and was taken to RAB-5 office. I was beaten by RAB in front of my 4 month old son Fiman Farnad and my wife Farhana Sarmin was also witness to this. At the same time when Likhon, the son of my landlord, asked about the identity of the persons arresting me. He was also beaten.
After my arrival in RAB-5 office I was kept hanging from ceiling with ropes in my hands, with the mask on my face. In the morning the RAB-5 Second in command Major Mr. Rashidul Hasan and Mr. Humayun Kabir (DAD) tortured me physically. They have sworn nasty words towards me. They handed me over to Boalia police station at 4:30 in the afternoon under section 54.
Boalia police station put me on court under section 16 (2) of the Emergency Power Rules (EPR)-2007. I was under medical attention of Rajshahi central jail. I came to know later that the father of a rapist Chatradol cadre in the Puthia police station lodged another false extortion case against me. The son of the plaintiff in the Puthia police station case was caught red handed while trying to rape a teenager girl. He was later released on acquitted. The rape victim’s father Abdul Halim was murdered by poison because he refused to withdraw the case against the rapist. And the plaintiff is accused mastermind murderer of the rape victim’s father Mr. Abdul Halim. Mr. Halim was a day labor. I was freed from Rajshahi central jail on 19 November, 2007 after 28 day’. But, again an extortion false case filed against me on 25 November, 2007. The plaintiff Mr. Abdul Latif Biswas is a accused in a sensational extortion case. I reported with the Daily Sangbad on 23 August 2003 against Mr. Latif on his antisocial activity. Mr. Latif is the President of Puthia BNP & former administrator of Puthia municipality.
Mahafujul Loton, the plaintiff of the extortion case against me, witness Ziaul Haque Tuku and Asaduzzaman Asad all are working as a RAB sources. I filed a general diary GD (No. 310) against Loton on March 7, 2000 because after my report had been published in Daily Sangbad on March 4, 2000, members of his gang tried to kill me.
Later Asaduzzaman Asad, a witness in Loton’s case took Taka 30,000 as extortion from a local businessman but he used my name. This was reported in Daily Sangbad, “Extortion using the name of a journalist,” on January 19, of 2003.
The charge sheet of the cases filed with the Boalia Model Police has been submitted on 30 October 2007. The case has been transferred to the Emergency Powers Rules. There were three extortion cases have been filed against me in 53 days.
The High Court, however, issued a Rule upon the government in reference to the case transferred to the Emergency Power Rules-EPR 2007 when I filed the Writ Petition (WP Number 10905/2007). The Court also adjourned the transfer order for next three months on 2 January 2008. But, The District Sessions and Judge Court, Rajshahi issued arrest warrant against me on 7 January violating the Rule issued by the High Court. Meanwhile, on 14 January, 2008 Rajshahi Judge Court adjourned the case from 8 January to 12 April, 2008 upon the Rule from the High Court keeping the arrest warrant valid. Later I was got bail from High Court.
On the other hand, accused torturer army officer (posted in RAB) Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid was went to Ivorecost and joined the UN peace keeping mission from Bangladesh Army।
In current situation is very bed for my life. First case against me which was filed by Mr. Mahafujul Alam Loton, is an uncle of Mayor-elect of Rajshahi City Corporation Mr. A H M Khairuzzaman Liton. Mr. Loton and Liton is the powerful leader of Bangladesh Awami League. Last 4th August Mr. Liton was elected Mayor of Rajshahi. After his victory Mr. Loton and his associates were threatened me verbally. Not only that an associates of Mr. Liton was filed a general diary against my father in law Advocate Mr. Tajul Islam Mohammad Farooq, president of Bangladesh Awami League and Ex. Member of Parliament by false charges. So, I feel very fearing. Special mention that, Mr. Liton is the main mastermind of the conspiracy against me. So, I want to leave my country. Please help me and safe my life & my family.
Finally I want to say, the false and fabricated cases have been filed against me just because of reporting on corruption and human rights violation. But I am tired physically, mentally and economically. I want to live. I want to go back to my profession and regular normal life. I strongly say that my stand is clear for the country and upholding human rights and also against all sort of corruption. Perhaps I would have to accept jail for false charge cases but I would never down my head to conspiracy and false allegation. I believe if I would not get justice from the society or country, but would definitely get “natural justice”.

Jahangir Alam Akash
Journalist & Human Rights Activists
C-361 Seroil, Ghoramara-6100
Boalia, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
Cell : +8801720084944
E-mail : jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Extra-Judicial Killings in Bangladesh

Scenario of Crossfire in Bangladesh
23 kills in 38 days by RAB-Police



Still extra-judicial killing is going on in Bangladesh. At least 23 persons were killed in the name of crossfire or encounter by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police in Bangladesh from May 22, 2008 to June 30, 2008.
The kills were identified as Ashikur Rahman Tagar, 45, an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party who was killed in the name of crossfire by RAB-Police joint operation at Patikabari village near Islami University in Kushtia on 22nd May, 2008.
Habib alias Arif, 25, son of Sarafot Ali of Manazi village in Ghatail upazilla of Tangail district, who was killed by police crossfire on 26th May, 2008 at a Mango garden of Konabari in Gazipur. Police told that he was an accused of a snatching case filed by police.
Abdur Rashid alias Sagor, 32, son of Yasahaq Ali of Jhikra village in Baghmara upazilla of Rajshahi district on 1st June, 2008 who was killed by RAB crossfire. RAB told that he was an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.
Ershad Ali, 32, was killed by RAB crossfire on 4th June, 2008 at Ataikula in Pabna. Rab told that Ershad was an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.
Harun alias Touheed, 34, was killed by police crossfire at Durgapur village of Jhenidah district on 6th June, 2008. Police told that, he was an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.
Alauddin, 42, was killed by RAB encounter on 9th June, 2008 at Pachurchak village of Joypurhat district.
On 11th June, 2008 9 (Nine) persons were killed by RAB crossfire and lynching at Bias village in Singhra upazilla of Natore district. All the kills people are suspect dacoit. The dead identified are Al-Amin, 35 of Bias village in Singhra upazilla of Natore district, Yunus, 32 of Sukash village in Singhra upazilla of Natore district, Helal, 32 of Nishchintopur village in Singhra upazilla of Natore district, Barik, 20 of Dighoria village in Tarash upazilla of Sirajgonj district, Yadul, 30 of Nangolmura Tetulia village in Tarash upazilla of Sirajgonj district, Shah Alam, 28 & Saiful, 25 of Powta village in Tarash upazilla of Sirajgonj district.
Abdul Majid alias Mojam, 35, son of Noor Mohammad of Vatke village in Raninagar upazilla was killed by police crossfire at Akon Bashbaria in Raninagar upazilla of Naogaon district on 12th June, 2008. Police told that, he was an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.
Abdur Rashid alias Tapan Malitha, 45 and his girl friend Rikta, 30 were killed by RAB crossfire on 18th June, 2008 at Baradi schoolpara village in Kushtia sadar upazilla of Kushtia district. Tapan was the chief leader of outlawed Purbo banglar communist party.
Golam Hossen alias Akash, 28 & Abdur Rashid alias Tikka, 32 were killed by RAB crossfire on 27th June, 2008. RAB told that, they were an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.
Anwar Hossen, 32 was killed by police crossfire at Housepur village in Mirpur upazilla of Kushtia on 27th June, 2008. Police told that, he was an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.
Mohammad Swapan, 31 & Zahurul Islam, 30 were killed by RAB crossfire at Sargram village in Ataikula upazilla of Pabna district on 30th June, 2008. RAB told that, they were an accused extremist called Sarbohara, member of Purbo Banglar Communist Party.


Jahangir Alam Akash
Journalist & Human Rights Activist
Bangladesh
E-mail : jahangiralamakash@gmail.com
+8801720084944
2008-07-13

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Write to Freedom: Human Rights its Hindrances & Rule of Law in Asia



Human Rights its Hindrances and Rule of Law in Bangladesh


By Jahangir Alam Akash


Rule of law is one of the main factors to develop country and democratic culture is the basis of rule of law.But in Asia especiallyin Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mayan mar, Nepal democracy was hampered inseveral times. I am a Bangladeshi by national.I am working as a Journalist and Human Rights Activist in our country.I started my service as a Journalist in 1989 and then as a HumanRights Activist in Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) andBangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT) in 2001.In these past years I have gathered some experience in these tropicswhich may be very poor but I want to express it in this conference. Inmy country democracy was practiced for three & half years just afterliberation up to August, 1975. Then it was again establish in 1991after an election when parliamentary government was formed and itcontinued up to January, 2007 though there were so many obstacle inthe way to establish the rule of law in fact. It is also said that theperiod of parliamentary form government many ministers, MP's wereinvolved in corruption but if we compare the GDP in the period ofdifferent government, we can see that in the period of electedgovernment in the year 1972-1975 and 1991-2007 it was far better thanthat of other government.I want to produce some picture of violation of rule of law and HumanRights and how I was also victimized as a Journalist and Human RightsActivist.Job of a Journalist is very risky not only in our country but also allover the developing and under developing countries especially when adevoted one wants to publish or to produce a fact which hampers theinterests of egoists or the persons in power.In Bangladesh many journalist were tortured after 11th January, 2007in the regime of the Army backed care taker government. In its popularpublic campaign against corruption, the interim government hasroutinely used torture to extract confessions from criminal suspectsor to gain information against those charged with corruption. Torturehas also been used punish and to intimidate peaceful critics of theinterim government and defacto military rule even to the journalistswho disclose the facts of some events or activities of the governmentorganization. For example Shahidul Islam, founder and director of thehuman rights organization Uttaran, was beaten with sticks, boots andrifle butts in an Army camp according to relatives who saw him carriedunconscious from the room where he had been interrogated.It is reported in Human Right Watch that one man who was present atthe camp told to the organization I saw that they look him to thebathroom. I could hear them beating him. I could hear the soundsticks. When they brought him cut, his shirt was covered in blood. Hecould not walk and had to he carried. I think he was unconscious.I Jahangir Alam Akash being the coordinator of the Task force againsttorture (TFT), Rajshahi, the regional coordinator of BangladeshInstitute of Human Rights (BIHR), the bureau chief of first 24 hoursnews channel in Bangladesh CSB News (recently closed) and the dailySangbad (Bengali Newspaper) & also general secretary of Rajshahi Unionof Journalists.I was victimized and was tortured by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). Thefact is that on 23rd October, 2007 midnight at 1.30 am a group (10/12members) of civil dressed Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-5 Rajshahipersonals came to my rented house at 55/2 Housing estate Uposhahar inRajshahi and pressed switch of all calling bell in that buildingcontinuing tuning guar leis. Hearing the sound of calling bell the sonof the owner of the building named Likhon (26) came out and asked theRAB personals about their identity and came of their coming. But theyrefused to disclose their identity and cause of coming, rather hastedin angry and shouted to open the main collapsed door quickly as wellas urging filthy language. Being afraid, when he opened the collapseddoor they entered into the building and started to beat him.Thereafter they knocked at the door of my residence. My wife FarhanaSarmin asked them to know their identity and cause of coming but theyrefused to answer at first. Then my wife said them if they did notdisclose their identity and cause of coming she would not open thedoor then they tried to break the door lock to enter the residence butfailed. Thereafter they disclosed that they are the member of RAB-5.They also said that they came in to knowledge through reliable sourcethat there are some arms in this house and they would search thehouse. When she again asked them to show search warrant they repliedthat they have search warrant issued by the concerned court. Though,they could not show the warrant. Then my wife called our neighbors aswitness and opened the door. Then they stormed the room and grabbed meand started to slab me as well using filthy language. Thereafter theyput me hand cuff and tied my head covering eye, nose, ear and mouthwith black cloth and started to beaten in front of my 4 months old sonand my wife and then lifted me in their van and look at their camp.Then I was kept hanging from ceiling with ropes in my hands, with themask on my face and tortured physically till next noon. They gave meelectric shocks and beaten by bamboo sticks under my foot. In thisconnection I was published a book name is "15 hours in totaldarkness". They handed me over to Boalia police station at 4.30 pm inthe afternoonunder section 16 (2) Emergency Power Rule (EPR). I am very muchgrateful to AHRC especially Mr. Zaman. If AHRC & zaman not have takenmy case, then RAB might be kills me in the name of 'Crossfire orEncounter'.I was victimized due to broadcasting news on different abuses of powerby the RAB-5 and other corrupted persons who are close to local RABpersonal on CSB News and the daily Sangbad the alleged RAB personaland other persons were aggrieved with me. For this reason to takerevenge and give punishment they arrested me.It is mentionable that on 2nd May, 2007, a team of RAB went to thehouse of an alleged criminal house in the city of Rajshahi. The RABshot at the person in the bedroom in front of his wife and a youngdaughter. The CSB News broadcast the news this attemptedextra-judicial killing by the RAB team in the news bulletin on May 3rdof 2007. The wife of the bullet injured person accused the RAB forshooting on her husband before the TV camera. It is also mentionablethat three false cases were implicated against me just before andafter arresting me due to reporting on corruption and human rightsviolation.Regarding my cases- in one of the three cases I have been on bail bythe High Court division of the Supreme Court until 6 July 2008, thetrial court has also fixed the next date to hear the case, accordingto the directions of the High Court.In the second case, the trial court heard my case on 12 May whetherthe charge should be framed against me or not; however, the judge didnot pass his order so far although there was a date fixed on 25 May topass the order. The next date of this case is fixed on 8 July.The third case has already been investigated by the police and theirreport was submitted to the trial Court on 8 January 2008. The foundthe alleged charges against me are false and recommended the Court tobring charge against the complainant for lodging the false complaints.However, the Court has not yet decided about this issue although threeseparate dates of hearing of this case already passed on. The nextdate to pass order following the police investigation report is fixedon 19 June. I heard court accepted this report, however, did not giveany order against the false complaint.I am afraid that following repeated pressures from the law-enforcers,especially, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) the trial courts mayorder to put me in jail again canceling my bail as soon as the tenureof the bail granted by the High Court is over on 6 July. I am in sucha fear as a result of a recent verdict passed by the AppellateDivision of the Supreme Court, which declares that any personimplicated in the Emergency Power Rules of 2007 is not eligible to getbail until the trial is over whether is the charge against him or her.There is an another shocking news I have learned that the keyperpetrator, Major Rashidul Hassan Rashid, a military officer deputedin the RAB, is recruited to serve in the UN Peacekeeping Mission inIvory Coast; he is supposed to join the UN Mission on 10 July 2008.You may understand how the Bangladeshi authorities look into thematters of human rights abuses and treat the victims and theperpetrators as well, according to their policy. The journalist Mr.Tasneem Khalil who wrote an article to criticize the government wastaken to the army camp in DGFI by army and brutally beaten. Now he wasexiled by the Bangladesh government and lives in Sweden. There are somany examples like the above three incidents.Torture has been a familiar and widespread problem in Bangladesh. Itis a routine feature of criminal investigations used by the police toobtain confessions. It is also used for politically motivated purposesagainst alleged national security suspects, government's critics andperceived political opponents to obtain information to intimidate orto convey more broadly message of fear.The system of detention is also a kind of serious violation of humanrights. On 11 January 2007, the state emergency was declared and moredraconian Emergency Rules issued on 25th January which initiallyprohibited political activity, processions, meeting, assemblies,demonstrations, and trade union activities etc and the restrictionsalso imposed on press freedom. The emergency regulation have alsofacilitated arbitrary arrests of a wide rang of government criticspeacefulprotesters and political party members. About twenty thousands ofpeople have been arbitrary arrested under emergency rule though exactfigure are not available. Those detained include nearly 200 seniorpolitical leaders, prominent businessmen, and the governmentofficials. The leaders of both major political parties includingSheikh Hasina of Awami league and Begum Khaleda Zia of BNP have beenarrested and bail was denied. Though, Sheikh Hasina was released onbail for his health treatment.Emergency powers encourage mistreatment in detention. The securityforces frequently arrest people in the middle of the night withoutwarrant. They are often in plainclothes and offer no identificationand cite the emergency laws to justify their actions, Instead ofbringing those people under arrest before a Magistrate, the securityforces routinely take them to Army barracks and other unofficialplaces of detention where they are subject to mistreatment bandtorture.It is also mentionable that the successive governments including thoseof Military Rules General Zia, General H M Ershad, and the electedgovernment of Prime Ministers Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasinasometimes used the DGFI to serve partisan interests in violation of UNcharter. Specially unauthorized killing in the name of crossfire &Encounter was started in the regime of Khaleda Zia government which isuninterrupted till now. Not get justice is a common feature inBangladesh. About 15 journalists were killed in last 15 years. Butmost of cases still not trial. Not only that father of the nationBangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed by Army with his 17family members. After 30 years trial have done but still not execute.Sustainable democracy, poverty, militancy, terrorism, hole nationdivided by two groups, corruption, some British rule, Emergency & emergency power rules, lower good governance & judicial is the main problem in Bangladesh.I want to submit a few recommendations to establish the freedom ofpress and to protect the human rights which is the first and main stepto establish the rule of law and to develop a country, the culture ofdemocracy should be practiced continuously and strictly in this regarda regional cooperation forum can be formed and it should be activeforming a few rules and it should be maintain strictly.Freedom of press should be grunted in Bangladesh constitution it isgrunted in article 39 (b) but it is not binding upon the governmenttherefore we should fight to establish the rule of constitution.Judiciary should be independent in practical and all kinds of killingby the machineries of the government should be stopped. No personsshould be torture by the law enforcing agencies.No rule or ordinance can be formed or passed which are contradictoryto the main theme of constitution.UN charter should be followed strictly and in this regard theinternational organization should act impartial and independent.In conclusion, we the people of this region will get the way ofdevelopment peace, fundamental rights and torture-free citizen lifewith regional cooperation.



Jahangir Aalm Aaksh

'Apatoto'

C-361 Shiroil

P.O Ghoramara-6100

P.S Boalia, Dist. Rajshahi

Bangladesh


Cell : +8801720084944

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Jahangir Alam Akash-Editor of Euro Bangla

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Jahangir Alam Akash Editor Euro Bangla http://www.eurobangla.org/ editor.eurobangla@yahoo.de http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd