Monday, September 21, 2009

Waiting for peace and justice!

By Jahangir Alam Akash, Bangladesh has failed to introduce credible mechanisms for accountability and performance at all levels of the administration. There is a common consensus that very poor governance, corruption and nepotism have severely undermined the rule of law including safeguards in the constitution to protect fundamental rights. Actually in practice there are no human rights.
Bangladesh is one of the over populated country in the world. Bangladesh has passed his around 38 years since independence. Bangladesh couldn’t confirm the trial of war criminals and hasn’t given the punished of self declared killers of the Bangabondhu murderer. Bangladesh every day is struggling himself with poverty. Other more problems have like human rights, corruption, democracy, rule of law, discrimination, education, housing, food, cloths, natural disasters, Islamic militancy, conspiracy, colonial rule, good governance, peace and justice etc.
The Peoples Republic of Bangladesh was liberated on 16th December, 1971 after a nine (9) months war with Pakistan. Though the war was of 9 months but the people struggled for a long time of about 23 years to establish their right and autonomy. Misgoverning of Pakistan creates disparity among the Bangalee (East Pakistan) and West Pakistan. The ruler of Pakistan failed to co-operate with the leadership of Bangalee people.
The Bangalees were determined to establish their autonomy. They woned the general election held in December, 1970 with the leadership of Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and have got absolute majority. But the ruler of Pakistan and some of their leaders of West Pakistan refused to hand over the power to the elected persons and attacked the general people of Bengali speaking and their leaders.
The leader of the Bangalee people Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence of People Republic of Bangladesh on 26th March, 1971 and the liberation war started 30 lacs of Bangalee people were killed, two lacs of women were raped, lacs of house, establishments were destroyed and the Bangladesh was established over the ruins.
The vision of the people at the time of liberation was to establish a democratic, happy, prosperous Bangladesh which will be called ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bangla). It was also the commitment of the father of the nation Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. But it is not fulfilled yet though it was possible if we would try to reach the goal unitedly. Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed within three years and a half after independence and other four national leaders also were killed.
In 1975, the military occupied the control of Bangladesh which was continued up to 1991 in different names and different ways. Then after a long demonstration parliamentary form of government established in 1991 though we can say that the actual sound democracy didn’t established yet.
In January of 2007 again military had taken the control of Bangladesh in the name of caretaker government. After around two years Bangladesh has got taken democratic government after a fresh general election. Though, in the name of democracy Bangladesh has been controlling. Actual democracy and peace is a golden dear in Bangladesh. The human rights are being hampered in different ways.
Another big problem is that, Bangladesh was spent around 17 years under military rule. For the first time democracy was restored in 1990 after a public revolution. But, after gross political violence Bangladesh went under military rule on last 11th January, 2007. Bangladesh has gotten again freedom from military rule by the election on 29th December, 2009. In spite of, Bangladesh has been criticized for its human rights record. Still extra judicial killings, journalist’s repression, and minority torture has been going on.
In the period of last elected government headed by Begum Khaleda Zia many people were killed extra judicially by the government forces. The people of opposition and minority people were also tortured-killed indifferent issues and ways in different times, their wealth were looted and some of them were also disposed of their property and from their house even.
In the regime of BNP-Jammat government many prominent personalities were killed and many of them were tortured. After that a neutral caretaker government headed by the President professor Iajuddin Ahmed formed for a period of three months whose role was in support of Khaleda-Nizami alliance for that reason Bangladesh Awami League alliance started movement against that caretaker government and in front of huge political disorder Army got opportunity of it and take over power in the name of another caretaker government headed by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed violating the constitution of Bangladesh.
The so-called caretaker government dominated Bangladesh for a term of about two years which was total violation of the constitution. In this regime this autocratic government banded some rights of the people grantee in constitution. They arrested many political leaders, journalists, businessmen, Ngo workers, professors, students, civil officials, and started cases with physical and mental tortured. The country was again fall into economic crisis and the poor people were suffered seriously in different ways.
Recently in last January the newly elected government formed headed by Sheikh Hasina getting 3/4th majority in the parliament. The expectation of the people is very high to the new elected government. Just after one month of framing the government, we had to face a big problem. In the head quarter of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) 75 persons (women) were killed including 58 Army high officials. Many women’s were raped by the killers.
Some unruly BDR killed their chief and other high officials which was a crucial time for the government. The investigation is not completed about this happening. There is a gossip that some Islamic militant organizations or people might behind this happenings. The bruit majority in the parliament is also creating some problems. In some places the workers of the ruling party are violating rules and order for previous enmity and in some place to earn some benefit.
‘Torture & extra judicial killings’
Torture is a common feature in Bangladesh. Now torture has become institutionalized. In Bangladesh, it has become common for extrajudicial killings to be sanitized under the names of "crossfire" or "encounter" by law-enforcing agencies. A culture of impunity has also been a common practice by the state since 1975. Here, extrajudicial killings by the joint security forces continue unabated. It was a commitment of the present government to stop the extra judicial killings though it is not ended till now.
Watch the documentary:
At least 43 peoples were killed in last 50 days from 1st August to 19th September, 2009 in Bangladesh. Last killing was happened in Pabna on 19th September, 2009. Government source told, 577 people were killed in extra judicial killings in 472 incidents until August 31, 2009 since the formation of the elite force RAB on March 26, 2004 in the regime of BNP-Jammat. With these killing, the total of such extra-judicial killings to 42 in over six weeks from August 1 to September 18 in 2009 with them 19 such killings in August and 23 were in last 18 days.
From 2004 to till at least 1,500 peoples were killed by the government forces in the name of so-called crossfire, encounter or gunfight. We don’t want its but it was truth that, not a single militant cadre or not a single terrorists from Jammat-Shibir (exception have) was killed by extra judicial killings. So, everyone could understand that in Bangladesh has no equal practice by law.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights day after day since 2004. With the direction of the article 35(5) of the constitution of Bangladesh and the article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. And according to the article 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh ‘everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’ But in practice in Bangladesh has no right to life and not executed the Universal Declaration of human rights and the Constitution of Bangladesh.
‘Universities professors also intentionally victimized!’
In recent past regime of army backed caretaker government, it was common Practice for the joint forces, the Army, and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) to torture university professors, journalists and writer and human rights defenders including famous dramatist columnist Malay Bhoumic, professor Anwar Hossen Neem Chandra Bhoumic, Harun-ur-Rashid, present vice chancellor of Rajshahi University Abdus Sobhan, ex vice chancellor of the same university and present ambassador of UK Saidur Rahman Khan.
No action could to be taken against these perpetrators. Professor Malay Bhoumic, Professor Abdus Sobhan and professor Saidur Rahman Khan were also tortured by Major Rashid and other RAB officials those who were worked with RAB-5 including the commander of RAB-5 Shamsuzzaman in that time, alleged.

‘A case study: Firsthand closer experience with brutal torture in army camp’

Illegally arrest, brutal torture and political motivated criminal charges adopted on journalists or human rights defender, when the journalists or human rights defender have spoken against abuse of power by the government authorities or politicians or local administration. Journalists in Bangladesh have faced severe retribution measures for long time of struggle against abuse of authority, breach of the rule of law, corruption, and impunity. Journalists have been active in highlighting human rights violations including torture, arbitrary detention, oppression of minority and women as well as corruption. I am a pure example about these.
I experienced torture firsthand while I was detained at an Army camp during the state of emergency declared by Bangladesh's military caretaker government from Jan. 2007 to Dec. 2008. I want to share with you some of my experiences. Every day, the suppression of the media and freedom of speech is becoming more apparent in Bangladesh. I would like to draw a picture of the destruction of Bangladeshi media from my own perspective.
Watch this:
Personally, I have also been victimized by the recent past authority for my activities as a journalist, writer and human rights activist. I was tortured for 15 hours. My crime was that I was made several investigative reports about the RAB’s offenses of extrajudicial killings, Islamic militancy and Indigenous and minority torture as well as corruption and political terrorism.
I want to paint a picture of the violation of the rule of law and human rights in Bangladesh. The RAB arrested a terrorist named 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 and his wife. Benazir is now crippled with two bullet marks on his feet. He is also detained in the hospital area of the Rajshahi central jail. The RAB did not find any arms in his possession.
Another killing was happened in the name of ‘Encounter’ by RAB-5. RAB murdered a local Workers party leader Maznu Sheikh alias Kamrul Islam at Chotobongram in Rajshahi city on May 18, 2007. I reported about these on CSB News and broadcasted interviews of their relatives (wife, mother, brother and localities). In the same time I was published these report on the daily Sangbad and broadcasted in DW Radio.
Watch these: (BIHR part-1) (BIHR part-2) (BIHR part-3)
When Benazir was shot, it was reported by me on CSB News. None of the RAB personnel who were involved in the alleged operation agreed to give statements in front of a television camera regarding the incident. In the evening, I send the report to our head office in Dhaka from our bureau office in Rajshahi. In a news bulletin broadcasted at 1:00 a.m. the following morning, the report was broadcast.
Then, at 9:33 p.m. that evening, I received a call from RAB officer Major Rashidul Hasan Rashid. Soon as I As soon as I picked up the phone, the caller asked me why the broadcasting of the news piece about the RAB’s operation was stopped after being aired only twice. In reply, I told him that "it is up to the head office." Major Rashid became annoyed with me and said, "You broadcasted this report intentionally."
I replied, "It is my professional duty, nothing more than that." He asked, “Why did you broadcast someone crying and the statements of Benazir’s wife and daughter?” In response, I asked him, “Do you want to know it officially?” At this stage, Major Rashid became very rude. I cannot mention the words he shouted at me in our language, since the language was very bad.
He was outraged and said, “If you fail to give the right answer about why 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 actions belong to ‘anti-state activity’.” He also said, “Make sure that you, any of your colleagues, and the CSB News camera are never seen within the jurisdiction and activities of the RAB. If they are, then the RAB will take action against you." After that, he hung up.
I complained to the Asian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International regarding this threat. Then an investigation was commissioned. After giving a detailed report, I signed my written statement, which was received with signature and official chop by the reader to assistant police commissioner in Boalia, Rajshahi on July 3, 2007.
Mr. Golam Mostofa, the field officer of the National Security Intelligence questioned me regarding the said intimidation and threats, on July 15, 2007. Then, at around 6:00 p.m. on July 22, 2007, Mr. Moyeen, an inspector of the Special Branch of the city of Rajshahi visited my office and took my statement.
Inspector Moyeen also asked about the threat I felt, and I replied that the RAB is involved in extrajudicial killings and I feared that I could become the victim of such a killing. I reported that I have been continuing my work, but I still worried that the RAB or his men might target me for further harassment or intimidation.
So I became a target. I have been charged multiple times with false and political motivated charges and have been arrested, tortured and detained. I was arrested from my house at midnight and tortured in front of my wife, child and rental house owners. I was taken to the RAB-5 office.
I was hung from the ceiling with my hands tied with ropes and was beaten mercilessly on my feet and my back. I was kept hanging from the ceiling with ropes around my hands, with the mask on my face. And also they gave me electric shocks. When I was being tortured I was being shouted at with words like: “Will you do the Benazir report again…?” “Litchi garden report again…” ‘Khairuzzaman Liton’s family report again…” Now face the consequences; son of a pig… son of a bitch…” etc. The RAB would like to be able to kill me, and officially call the killing a "crossfire" or "encounter."
RAB sent me to the local police with the charge under the section 16(2) of Emergency Power Rules 2007. I was under medical attention in the Rajshahi central jail for 10 days. As a new detainee, I was sent to the case table in front of the jail house's trial court on my first day.
When I went to case table, two fellow inmates had to hold me on both sides. I had no power to walk. I could not even sit properly, but could only put pressure on one side of my rear, when sitting. I broke into tears. Many cases were lodged against me. I felt I was being prepared to be killed in a “crossfire" or "encounter.” There are so many examples like mentioned above. In Bangladesh still going on extra judicial killings in the name of ‘Crossfire’ ‘Encounter’ or ‘Gunfight’. Though, the present government is democratic.

‘Journalism and Nomination link with torture!’

Around 20 years, I have been writing against corruption, Islamic militancy, minority oppression, state torture and the abuse of power in my home country Bangladesh as well as in Rajshahi, a border town neighboring India. I worked for the oldest Bengali national daily newspaper Sangbad, Dainik Bangla, Ajker Kagoj, Banglar Bani, and the New Nation, the Morning Sun, the News Day, Ekushey Television, CSB News, Associated Press of Bangladesh, The Editor.Net and the Bengali language service of Deutsche Welle (DW), dainik Patrika, dainik Uttar Bangla, dainik Teesta.
I also worked with human rights organization Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), “Task Force against Torture” and the “Bangladesh Institute for Human Rights (BIHR)”. And I was the executive Editor of monthly Manabadhiker Anusandhani. At presently I am the editor and publisher for press freedom, human rights and minority rights based web news portal the ‘Human Rights Today’.
From last six years I have been working with investigating journalism on Islamic militancy, extra judicial killings, women and children torture, minority and indigenous repression and corruption. I am working for peace, democracy and minority and indigenous rights as well as human rights.
Only for my professional duty I have been giving hard price with my whole family financially, mentally, physically, socially and politically. After finishing the last general election we heard that, my father in law ex Member of Parliament (MP) advocated Tajul Islam Mohammad Faruque was lost his nomination for MP election from Bangladesh Awami League.
Though, he has been continuing with Bangladesh Awami League last 42 years. Now he is also president of Bangladesh Awami League Rajshahi district unit. Mr. Tajul Islam M Faruque and Fazle Hossen Badsha were organized movement against militancy from Rajshahi as politically. Not only was that, at first Mr. Faruque protesting the minority repression as political leader in Rajshahi in the regime of BNP-Jammat.
We heard also that, Mr. Faruque was lost his nomination for lack of money, my professional activities and the hostility of A H M Khairuzzaman Liton (present Mayor of Rajshahi city). There is a gossip that, nominated candidate of Bangladesh Awami League was given huge money to the party fund from the seat Rajshahi-5 (Puthia-Durgapur) was the desire of Mr. Faruque for nomination. Though, the grassroots leaders were giving their concern for the nomination in favor of Mr. Faruque. It is the culture of political in Bangladesh.
‘Journalists torture and killings’

Press freedom is another golden dear in Bangladesh. Journalist’s killings and repression is a common phenomenon in here. The latest Patuakhali incident apart, harassment either in the form of physical torture or filing false cases is on the rise in recent days across the country. At least 130 journalists felt prey to various types of harassments in the country since January.
Two journalists were killed, 46 injured, 11 assaulted, 13 attacked, one abducted, 43 threatened and three sued in past eight months till August. Unidentified terrorists at Mirer Bazar in Gazipur killed the executive editor of ‘Samprotik Somoy’ MM Ahsan Bari on August 26, this year. In the same year on 3rd July was killed a young community journalist Rana at Uttara in capital city of Dhaka. With these a total of 28 journalists and writer were killed in last 16 years in the country.
In 2007, journalist Tasneem Khalil, who wrote an article criticizing the government, was taken by Army members to the facilities of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, Bangladesh's intelligence agency, and was brutally beaten. Now he has been exiled by the Bangladeshi government and lives in Sweden. Cartoonist Arifur Rahman arrested and sent to the jail for made a cartoon. Though, he was freed from jail later and he was freed from the case by the court ordered. In the regime of BNP-Jammat government journalist Saleem Samad, writer-journalist Shahriar Kabir, professor of Dhaka University and famous writer Muntasir Mamun also brutally tortured and detained illegally.
On April 13 of 2009, Gofforgaon upazilla under Mymensing district journalist Biblop was tortured by the supporters of ruling party lawmakers. In last 16 years almost 27 journalists and one writer were murdered in Bangladesh including Manik Saha, Deponkar Chakraborty, Goutam Das, Humayun Kabir Balu, Shamsur Rahman Cable, Harun-ur-Rashid Khokon, Saiful Alam Mukul, and Sheikh Belaluddin.
But yet real investigation and trial has not end. Journalist’s community and the relatives of killed journalists are waiting for justice. In last 38 years since independence hundreds journalists brutal tortured including Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Atiquallah Khan Masud, Alhaj Zahirul Haque, Probir Shikder, Tipu Sultan.
Watch these: (part-1) (part-2)
A journalist from Chuadanga of daily Amar Desh Ariful Islam is still in jail with a politically motivated case filed by government supporters. In same district another journalist Shah Alam of Prothom-Alo is flew from his home place after he was attempting to kill by the ruling party men. In Patuakhali some journalists are feared and faces with the fabricated charged after publishing reports against the local member of parliament of ruling party.
The killed journalists and writer are 1) Manik Saha (Khulna), 15 January, 2004, 2) Humayun Kabir Balu(Khulna), 27 June, 2005, 3) Shamsur Rahman Cable (Jessore), 16 July, 2000, 4) Harun-ur-Rashid Khokon (Khulna), April, 2003, 5) Saiful Alam Mukul (Jessore), 30 August, 1998, 6) Dipankar Chakrabarty (Bogura), 20 October, 2004, 7) Goutam Das (Faridpur), 8) Sheikh Belaluddin (Khulna), 2005, 9) S.M. Alauddin (Satkhira), 19 June, 1996, 10) Golam Mazed (Jessore), 11) Mir Ilias Hossen Dileep (Jhenidha), 15 January, 2000, 12) Shukur Ali alias Shukur Hossen (Dumuria-Khulna), 5 July, 2002, 13) Nahar Ali (Dumuria-Khulna), 18 April, 2001, 14) Ahsan Ali (Rupgonj-Narayangonj), 20 July, 2001, 15) Kazi Md. Kamruzzaman (Nilfhamari),1996, 16) Syed Faruk Ahamed (Shrimongol-Moulobhi Bazar), May, 2002, 17) Bazlur Rahman (Chuadanga), 18) Kamal Hossen (Khagrachari), 21 August, 2004, 19) Anwar Apolo, 20) Abdul Latif Nabil, 21) Zamaluddin (Rangamati), 5 March, 2007, 22) Nurul Islam Rana (Uttara-Dhaka), 3 July, 2009, 23) M.M.Ahsan Bari (Gagipur-Dhaka), 26 August, 2009, 24) popular writer Dr. Humayun Azad (Dhaka University), 27 February, 2004, 25) Sarwarul Alam Noman (Mymensing), 1995, 26) Faruk Hossen (Jessore), 27) Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury (Jessore), 1994, and 28) Rezaul Karim Reza.
In Bangladesh, justice and press freedom is a golden dear. Those who are involves in corruptions they always controlled by the governments. Presents trends of media are that, black money holders are coming in the ownership of media house. So, journalists are firstly, self censored for their owners. Another media controlled key is advertisement of government.
That is why; media is not playing good role for the peoples. For media freedom, another problem is that in Bangladesh has no definition about contempt to court and defamation. So, always, media has fearing regarding these. Which content will go to contempt to court or defamation for publishing? Media peoples have not known this. Only for this recently famous national daily the Prothom Alo has charged with contempt to court.
There have no national broadcasting rule. Though, we got recently right to information act and community radio rule. Now, we are waiting for see what would come better for media freedom of these two rules. On the other hand, many law including official secrecy act which are big barrier for press freedom.
Journalist’s communities in Bangladesh are waiting for justice of their killed and tortured colleagues. I think, in Bangladesh if society has not changed as qualitative then press freedom is so far from practically. In practice, has no rule of law, good governance in Bangladesh. Whole nation politically, socially divided by two major groups. Journalist’s community has also divided by two groups and also they have lack of professionalism.
Though, Freedom of the press should be granted in Bangladesh's constitution; it is granted in Art. 39 (b), but it is not binding upon the government. Therefore, we should fight to establish the rule of the constitution. The judiciary should be independent in practice, and all kinds of killings by the government machinery should be stopped.
‘Minority oppression’

Minority torture is another common practice in Bangladesh. Every day we have receiving new news one after another about minority oppression from there.
In Bangladesh, the brutal persecution of the Christian religious minority and indigenous ethnic minorities is going ahead full steam. Until now, the persecution that both communities faced never saw the light of justice. A culture of the denial of justice in Bangladesh is the root of all the persecution against the ethnic and religious minorities, which isn't only affecting a part of the country, but is plaguing the entire criminal justice system in Bangladesh.
General Zia and his predecessors introduced persecution against the minorities in Bangladesh. Bangladesh became Islamized under the military regime, rather than being a true parliamentarian democracy. Bangladesh was not born with the blessing of being united beyond ethnic and religious differences, but rather has been Islamized, yet with a secular policy.
Watch this:
The attack on the religious minority brings with it the idea of “Islam in the constitution”. The communal spirit began with political motives and ended in mass destruction such as the attack on present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed back in 2001. The victims of the brutal attack are still looking for justice. At that time also, a bomb attack killed 10 and badly injured 20 others at the Baniarhar Catholic church in Maksudpur, in the Gopalganj district.
In 1998, an indigenous leader, Alfred Soren, was brutally killed by those in power. The day of the attack, the perpetrators looted his house, destroyed his belongings, and set the house on fire. Until now, his family members and the public have never seen the light of justice. Cholesh Richil, an indigenous Christian leader, died in custody on March 18, 2007, following brutal torture at the hands of the army. Richil’s civil rights were grossly violated by government agents. It is puzzling why the government has not yet made a proper investigation to unearth the mystery behind this leader’s death. The perpetrators of this crime should not have impunity. The killing of Richil has not been filed as a criminal case to date.
From 1979 to 1981, the indigenous people of Bangladesh became cornered by landless people from the mainland in the process of their rehabilitation by the government. An ill-fated ten-year-old indigenous child, Klanto Chiham, was killed by brutal teachers after being tortured at Maymansingh.
A dacoit, or robber, killed a Christian school teacher, Mangsang, at Madhupur in Tangail. A member of an even smaller minority, Dr. Goni Gomes, a converted Christian from Islam, was killed by Islamic militants. The constitution does not give proper identity to the indigenous peoples. This is Bangladesh! We demand that these persecutions stop right now and that the government give all rights due to the minority groups and bring the perpetrators to justice.
On the other hand two Hindu minority families at Raninagor in Naogaon district are waiting their son’s dead body. Sushanto and Sufol were abducted by Islamic militant led by self declared ‘Bangla Bhai’ operational chief of JMB Siddiqur Rahman. Eye witness Abul Bashar who was also tortured inhumanly by the cadres of JMB told to the ‘Justice Foundation’ Bangladesh that, ‘in front of myself (himself) SUfol and Sushanto were killed.’ Mother and fathers of these two young people’s are waiting to receive their loving son’s dead body. As well as they also wants justice for the killings of their son’s. Not only Sufol and Sushanto many families has waiting for their beloved family members those who were kidnapped and killed by JMB.

‘Torture & Constitution’

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, critics of the government, and perceived political opponents, in order to obtain information, to intimidate or to convey more broadly a message of fear. The system of detention is also a kind of human rights violation.
Article 35 (5) of the Constitution of Bangladesh clearly said that, No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment - thus, it is a fundamental right of all Bangladeshis that they are protected by the Constitution against torture.
There is a biggest difference between the constitutional provision and the belief of the general people. This experience started on the very day when the nation adopted its constitution as the supreme law of the land immediately after the independence of the country from the colonial regime. That same difference of allowing torture to persist without any credible scope of justice to the victims remains after 38 years of independence.
The police, along with its other branches such as Special Branch (SB), the Detective Branch (DB) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), are not the only agencies that practice torture. The paramilitary forces the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) the armed forces, especially the Bangladesh Army, and the intelligence agencies like the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) and National Security Intelligence (NSI) of the country, all maintain special torture cells of their own. There are temporarily created cells like the Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC) and the Task Force for Interrogation (TFI) Cell and they are notorious for their brutality.
There is little support for the people they are supposed to be protecting. The law enforcement agencies and the security forces care little for the ordinary people of Bangladesh. The personnel, who serve in the police, armed forces and the paramilitary forces stand face to face before the people treating the commoners as criminals in general and subject them to torture in the name of maintaining law and order in the country. In reality, a country likes Bangladesh where a fair trial is beyond imagination of the justice seekers it is absolutely impossible to get a legal remedy against a perpetrator of torture.
Human rights organization The Asian Human Rights Commission informed us that, in Bangladesh 629 police stations in the country. If a single person is tortured per day in these police stations then an alarming number of 229,585 persons are being tortured in Bangladesh every year. Torture at the hands of the state actors regularly causes permanent and temporary disability of persons and amounts to hundreds of deaths every year.
But, despite the recurrence of these grave incidents it repeatedly fails to shake the conscience of the policymakers of the nation. The governments of various regimes do not feel any responsibility to bring to an end this brutal practice. Ironically, the political parties of the country pledge to uphold rule of law and human rights before every general election and then turn a blind eye to abuses by the police once they are elected to power.
‘Islamic militancy’
Around 125 Islamic militant organizations are active in Bangladesh. But the government has declared banned only for four militant organizations, till to date. The life of present highly popular Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is under threat by the militant. She is the main target of Islamic militant.
Watch these: (Islamic militancy-5 Badsha) (Islamic militancy, crossfire -6 Major Rashid))
The people are well known, BNP-Jammat alliance government was patronized to the Islamic militant. Democracy, militancy and islamizations are now similar in Bangladesh. In top of the state were put Islam as a state religious. Although the peoples of Bangladesh were gave gross sacrifice for a secular democratic and peaceful country. But, in practice the peoples haven’t yet get a good democracy, rule of law, good governance and a secular society. At about 90 percent peoples are Muslim in Bangladesh. Other 10 percents are belonging in Hindu, Christian and Buddhist. On the other hand, main two political parties of Bangladesh Awami League and BNP have no democracy in practically.
In last general election which was hold on 29th December, 2008 in Bangladesh. In that election, peoples were gave absolute majority to Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) led grand alliance called Mohajote. Actually, which was not won of BAL. It’s a real and experienced result or decisions which were taken by the peoples after seven years regime both BNP-Jamat and Dr. Fakruddin-Moyeen government.
Peoples of Bangladesh have had great hope for their demand/want to the present government for trial of war criminals, Bangabondhu murderers and reestablished to the constitution of 1972. But, the government couldn’t show any activity regarding these issues from last eight months that’s for peoples are get hope or faith. Now a days in Bangladesh Islamic militant are grown up, law and order situation are fallen every day and the conspiracy are grosses day by day against the daughter of Bangabondhu and present Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The influential English national daily Star recently wrote that, ‘no effective measure was taken by any government to punish the patrons of the outlawed Islamist outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) that launched an unprecedented countrywide bomb attack on August 17, 2005. The law-enforcement agencies during their drives against militancy have so far arrested over 550 JMB militants including many of their top tier leaders. However, no initiative by the law enforcers was ever seen to bring the patrons of these militants to book.
A number of victims in northern Rajshahi region individually filed cases against some alleged patrons of JMB. But no comprehensive effort has been seen from the government to take steps against these alleged patrons. Former BNP minister Aminul Haque has been convicted by a court for patronizing JMB and some other BNP leaders have been accused in cases filed by victims in Rajshahi region.
Watch these: (Extra judicial killings-Maznu) (Minority killings) (Islamic militancy-5 Badsha) (Islamic militancy, crossfire -6 Major Rashid) (Islamic militancy-4 Bashar) (Islamic militancy-1 Khejur) (Islamic militancy-2 Rabeya) (Islamic militancy-3 Mother of Zia) (Islamic militancy-1 MP Ishrafil)
Following the March 2007 execution of JMB kingpins Abdur Rahman, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and four others, the government showed its firm stance to detect the outfit’s political patrons and take stern action against them. The patrons of JMB would face the same punishment [execution] if they are found guilty, announced the then law adviser of the caretaker government.
“The law enforcers are looking for the godfathers. If they are netted and we learn about their roles, they will face the same punishment,” he said in March 2007. It has already been over two years when present Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad said: “We have already tentatively identified the patrons of the organization [JMB].”
The ruling Awami League government also announced to take actions against the militant patrons. Mysteriously enough, no action has been taken against anyone although names of some former BNP-Jamaat-led ruling alliance’s political leaders, lawmakers and ministers surfaced as patrons of JMB in the northern districts including Rajshahi. The investigators working at the diktat of the then government high-ups also did not take any move to detect and expose them.
Here mentioned that, at least 176 peoples were killed including journalist, lawyer, justice and political leader from since 1999 by the Islamic militant attacked in Bangladesh. As citizens we think that, it would not be possible to uproot militancy soon until taking measures against their patrons or guardians as well as should stop their economic shelters. As well as should practice real democracy and for the interest of the nation should be united all political parties except Jammat. We more think that, immediately should ban the politics those who are working in the field of politics in the name of religious, like Jammat.
‘War criminals and 38 years of independence’
Actually, religious based political party as well as the anti liberation force Jammat is behind with Islamic militancy. As a political party and individually the top leaders of Jammat was involved with war crimes.
Bangladesh has passed around 38 years since independence. During our freedom fighting we were lost 30 million (30 Lac) peoples. And two million women were lost their dignity. After nine months war Bangladesh were born in the world with his existence, led by great national leader Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. So, that Bangabondhu is our father of the nation.
Everywhere is clear that, our neighbor India were directly helped our freedom fight and they were gave us place those who were flown from Bangladesh. Jammat-E-Islam had against our freedom fight. They organizationally involved killings, raping, looting and burning. After liberation, Bangabondhu’s government were started trial against the war criminals and also convicted some war criminals. But, 15 August of 1975 some Army men were killed Bangabondhu with his families. Though, his two daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehena had in aboard in that time. So, they were safe.
But now the war criminals and anti liberation force want to kills them. For this, they use the Islamic militant. After Bangabondhu murder Army took the power. All the war criminals were freed from jail and conviction. And from 1975 to 1990 we were in Army rulers. Then, Islamization has start. General Ziaur Rahman and General H M Ershad jointly have broken our constitution of 1972. Both of the Army rulers put to Islam in constitution. The peoples of Bangladesh have still crying for trial of war criminals.
Now, international community wants to help Bangladesh for trial of war criminals. With Bangladesh working towards trial of the war criminals of 1971, Pakistan should follow the lead to stop recurrence of genocide and end culture of impunity.
So for combating to the Islamic militancy to essential to finish the trial of war criminals both for as individuals and political party those who were involved with mass killings, raped, loot, burn etc during the freedom fighting in 1971.

‘A private bill against torture’
Bangladesh's parliament is in session for the second time after a new government led by the Bangladesh Awami League assumed office this year. A draft Bill urging the need of punishing torture and custodial death as a crime has also been in place since 5 March 2009. The Bill was registered by a Member of the Parliament, Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, of the ruling political party, as a Private Member's Bill as the government did not clarify its position regarding the issue. A ruling party with more than two thirds majority in the parliament can eliminate torture and allow thousands of victims to get justice from the courts of law in order to fulfill the government s commitment to the people thereby meeting their constitutional obligations.
‘Impunity and Bangladesh’

The people of Bangladesh struggled for 23 years to establish their rights in different sectors throughout the country, then for provincial autonomy, and finally for independence. They owned their victory through a nine-month-long war, after which they found Bangladesh independent.
But it is very troubling that Bangladeshis' fundamental rights have been restricted through interference by the Army, at different times. The Army autocrats who rule the country have caused the deaths of thousands of civilians and Army people, even the father of the nation, Bangobandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in 1975, but they have always received impunity.
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There is more shocking news I have learned about a key perpetrator, Major Rashidul Hassan Rashid, an RAB military officer who played the leading role in the extrajudicial killings in the northern part of Bangladesh. He was the main leader of extra judicial killings in there. He was involved with Ahsan Habib Babu, a student’s league leader; Kamrul Islam, alias Maznu Sheikh, a Workers Party leader; Ali Jafor Babu, a prominent businessman; and about hundreds others killings.
Some people like Benazir and a jail guard, Shahebul Islam, were highly affected and disabled by their torture. Major Rashid has been recruited to serving in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Ivory Coast; he joined the UN mission on July 10, 2008. This makes it clear how well the Bangladeshi authorities look into human rights abuses and treat the victims and the perpetrators.
We believe that, Impunity is one of the major causes of continuing human rights violations in Bangladesh.
‘Our demands’
We general people of Bangladesh urges to the Parliament of Bangladesh to prove its commitment that they want to end the practice of custodial torture and the culture of impunity on their own soil. We also urge the parliamentarians to legislate the draft Bill in order to open the doors of the judiciary for the victims of torture.
The victims should have easy access to the complaint mechanism and protection from threats and intimidation. The burden of proof should be upon the perpetrators of torture with an obligation of compensating the victims for their sufferings if the perpetrators are found guilty.
Article 46 of the Constitution must be repealed as it is used to offer impunity to the perpetrators of torture. Sections 132 and 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure must be repealed immediately. Section 132 allows the state actors to abuse their power in the name of good faith without any checks and balances, and Section 197 denies the independence of the judiciary.
The peoples also urge the civil society, including the media and the rights groups of Bangladesh to initiate movements against the practice of custodial torture and impunity by demanding the criminalization of torture.
Freedom of the press should be granted in Bangladesh's constitution; it is granted in Art. 39 (b), but it is not binding upon the government. Therefore, we should fight to establish the rule of the constitution.
The judiciary should be independent in practice, and all kinds of killings by the government machinery should be stopped. No persons should be tortured by law-enforcing agencies. No rule or ordinance that is contradictory to the main theme of constitution should be formed or passed. No accused persons should have impunity. The U.N. charter should be followed strictly and, in this regard, the international organization should act impartially and independently.
We think that, to establish freedom of the press and to protect human rights that are 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 Bangladesh. In this regard, a forum for regional or global cooperation should be formed, should be active in creating a few rules, and should be strictly maintained. It is necessary to give punish those who are perpetrators and should Bangladesh government stop Impunity for the greater interest of democracy and peace.
In conclusion we want to say that, all the international agencies should have further effective and serious steps to overcome the hindrance of establishing human rights, press freedom and effective democracy.
We hope that, present government should stop all kinds of repression, torture, killings and impunity and should protect human rights, press freedom, constitution and rule of law as well as democracy. 21-9-2009
The Human Rights Today

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Jahangir Alam Akash-Editor of Euro Bangla


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Jahangir Alam Akash Editor Euro Bangla