Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Indigenous and Hindu minority persecution in Bangladesh

A picture on minority oppression

By Jahangir Alam Akash, Hindu-Indigenous and Christian minority people have been oppressed continuously by the political influential in Bangladesh. An Indigenous woman Jhorna Dewan (32) has killed on 29 March in Rangamati. (Source: BD News 24, 30.3.2010). This is the latest incident of minority oppression. At least 3 Indigenous people have killed in the incident of February in CHT. We want to paint a picture of minority oppression.
According to the daily Jugantor (24.3.2010), Mohammad Sanowaruzzaman Josef – Member of Upazila Awami League and U.P. Chairman and his brother Mr. Shamsuzzaman Talukdar Soeb – President of Juba League forcefully and fraudulently occupied lands of renowned Kali Temple situated at Kaliazuri Upazila Sadar of Netrakona district of Bangladesh.

In this connection, Mr. Ranjit Sarker along with some leaders of Hindu community made an appeal to the Deputy Commissioner of Netrakona district for recovery of deity’s land. They also claimed that since long the Hindu communities were celebrating Puja and religious festival on those lands. The powerful land grabbers most illegally occupied those lands and started construct multi storied building thereon. A sense of discontentment was prevailing amongst the Hindu communities due to this abrupt occupation of Temple properties.
According to the Samakal (22.3.2010), Muslim perpetrators on 21 March at about 16.00 hours attacked Hindu village at Dhanua within Faridgonj Police station of Chandpur district. Two Hindu dwellers have been admitted at the hospital with precarious condition due to abrupt attack by perpetrators. Names of injured victims are 1) Ms.Archana Rani Das and 2) Sanjit Das. Because of continuous love affairs between Hindu boy Mr. Samir Chandra Das (17) and Muslim girl Ms. Haowa Begum (16) there developed eternal love.
It is reported that there existed a love between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl within the same locality. Both the boy and girl absconded due to persistent pressure from their father and mothers and other religious leaders. Muslim inhabitants of the same locality became furious because of inter- religious marriage activities in the locality. On 21March at about 16.00pm a gang of perpetrators with deadly weapons attacked Hindu village, destroyed a substantial part of Temple thus desecrated the Hindu deities thereon, destroyed some dwelling houses of minorities and assaulted 10 Hindu inhabitants of Hindu village only because of love affairs between Hindu boy Mr. Samir Chandra Das (17) and Muslim girl Ms. Haowa Begum (16) This unfortunate incident took place at Bara Dhanua Uttaqr Das Para U.P. No.9 of Govindapur, Faridgonj police station of Chandpur district.
Mr. Bhudu Gopal Das lodged first information report (FIR) at Faridgonj police station on same day against the five perpetrators and unknown 10/15 others under section 143/447/448/385/295/323/325/427/502 of Bangladesh penal code. The accused perpetrators are: Mohammad Faruk (40) son of Yonus, Md. Harun (35) son of Abdul Gani, Md. Siddique (35) son of Iqbal, Md. Sumon (35) Luthfar Rahman Gazi, Md. Masum (35) son of Younus Patwari and 10 to 15 unknown others. Faridgonj police arrested Mohammad Faruk and Md. Harun and sent them to jail custody. All other perpetrators are absconding.
According to the daily Amader Shomoy ( 21 March, 2010), Ms. Anju Rani Das (16) a Hindu school student of Class Nine was seized forcibly from custody of her elder brother on way to visit their relative’s house at Boga Union of village West Kaina within Baufol police station. Her father’s name is Amullya Chandra Das (45) of Kolapara police station of Patuakhali district. Mr. Shymol Chandra Das – elder brother of victim girl was wrongfully restrained and confined at the road along with Ms.Anju physically assaulted, their belongings looted, by the perpetrators and took victim away at Kaina and more than 8 Muslim perpetrators raped her one after another 10/15 kilometres away from police station. Initially the local people came to know about this incident of gang-rape and informed the police after chase of two accused. Ms. Anju Rani was gang-raped on 19th March, 10 at about 8.30 p.m. at Kaina of Boga Union 15 kilometres away from Baufal police station by following accused perpetrators: Hanif Howlader ( 38), Bashir Mollah (30), Forkan Howlader (25), Mohammad Masum @ commander Masud (28), Jamal Khan (35), Mohammad Liton (25), Abdul Mannan (30), Md. Abul Kalam (32). The victim lodged first information report (FIR) at Boufol police station being Boufol P.S. case No. 20 dated 20.03.2010 under section 9(3)30 of Women and Children Repression Ordinace,2003 and 341/379 of Bangladesh penal code against those perpetrators. Out of eight perpetrators two have been arrested by police in the meantime.
According to the daily Sangbad (16.3.2010), Serious allegation against perpetrators belonging to Awami League in power forcefully occupied landed properties worth Taka half a billion of Hindu families at Kishoreganj town. Although police rushed at the spot soon after a general diary was lodged at Sadar police station the perpetrators continued to erect construction on the lands of Hindus illegally. On Monday the Hindu victims in press conference imparted facts of case at the District Press Club in Kishoreganj that on last Friday morning the perpetrators namely –Abdul Karim son of Hashim Bepari, Siddique son of Mansur Ali and Taher along with 10/12 more perpetrators forcefully occupied .5 sataks of lands belonging to Narayan Biswas of Bhattacharjee Para, .7 sataks of lands belonging to Ms.Mala Rani Chowdhury wife of Saitten Bhattacharjee, .3 sataks of lands belonging to Ms.Beauty Bhattarjee wife of Brajesh Bhattacharjee, 03 sataks of lands belonging to Ms.Beauty Rani Sutradhar wife of Bipul Sutradhar, 03 and half sataks belonging to Monmohan Basak, 05 and half sataks of lands belonging to Nani Gopal Banik.
It is also reported that those minority Hindus had been owning and possessing those lands since 15 to 30 years ago. All those lands grabbers forcefully erected houses. In this connection Mr.Saitten Bhattacharjee husband of Ms. Mala Rani started a general diary entry as complainant.The minority communities there in great anxiety and nobody dared to protest illegal construction of houses on their lands. Mir Mosharaf Hossain, Officer-in-Charge of Sadar P.S. informed that on Sunday night and on Monday morning police stopped construction on the lands in dispute. Both the parties were advised to report police station with their legal documents.
According to the daily Jugantor (5.3.2010), Assailants shot dead a Jewellery trader in front of Bahadur Shah Park in Old town in Dhaka Thursday morning.
The deceased was Prem Krishna Roy (37), a resident of Khailash Ghosh Lane at Kazir Deuri. Witnesses said a gang of three of four assailants stopped Prem Krishna, who was on his way home, near the park about 7.45 a.m. and shot him in the fact, chest, abdomen and shoulders. Prem, who returned from Dubai recently, fell on the ground severely wounded. The gangsters made their escape by firing blank shots. Local people took him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Prem’s elder brother Amal Roy alleged his brother might have been killed by extortionist who had demanded Taka 10 lakh from Amal just a month ago. On 14th February, 10 he made a general diary entry at Kotwali police station for necessary protection, but police failed to protect him. “Some unnamed people, who demanded Taka 10 lakh from me, threatened me and my family over telephone of dire consequences if I would fail to pay the money, he said. As I refused to pay the money, they repeatedly threatened me saying that they would kill my family members, Amal, who owns the James Jewellery Workshop in the area. Prem who got married to Ms Swapna Roy three months ago, returned to the country early December, 2009 after staying in Dubai for five years. Swapna said her husband had no enmity with anyone.
Nitty Mondal, a worker of the James Jewellery Workshop told that Amal Roy received threats from unnamed caller three times in February and he refused to pay any money back home, Prem Roy had helped his brother in running the business. Once Prem was abducted for extorting Taka five million and after payment those perpetrators let him free on condition. He however, said they could not identify the extortionist.
According to the daily Destiny (18.2.2010), Bijoy Roy (13) a Hindu- children- van-carrier of Chowgacha Upazila was assassinated to death by unknown assailants. His head was separated from his body. He is a destitute child of Aswani Roy –a Hindu van carrier of village Bonni of Chowgacha Upazila. Nobody could identify who were the killers. There is no allegation against this destitute boy. Local lamented for such killing as soon as they came to know this unfortunate event. Local people informed police on 15 February, 10 while mutilated dead body of Bijoy Roy was identified from village Bonni. Police sent the dead body to hospital morgue for autopsy. No relatives of the deceased know when why this boy was brutally killed. On Sunday last Bijoy did not return to his home till his assassination. No trace was available whole night from 14 February, 10. Neighbour became astonished seeing his separated body of this innocent boy.
Mozzammel Hoque, S.I. of Police informed that a murder case has been started without mentioning the names of the assailants and the investigation was going on. Chowgacha P.S. case No. 4 dated 15.02.10 under section 302/34 of penal code; one Md. Tarikul Islam (21) son of Abdul Mannan was arrested on suspicion.
According to the daily Sangbad and Samakal (7.2.2010), consequent upon an incident of sexual harassment of Hindu girl some unruly perpetrators attacked Hindu Temple at Mograpara of Sonargaon Sub-district at Narayanganj of Bangladesh on Friday 5 February, 10 evening. Perpetrators also demolished 6 (six) Hindu Deities (Murthies), attacked houses belonging to Hindu communities. During this time Hindus were celebrating Puja at the premises. Police deployed for controlling the situation. The perpetrators also damaged houses belonged to Hindus namely a) Naresh b) Netai, c) Polly, d) Govinda and e) Sentu and some Hindu youths had been beaten. The perpetrators belonged to Muslims are: Rakibul, Sujan, Sabbir, Mohan, Sagar, Ripon and more others. It is alleged that since 2 February, 10 “Kali Puja” started at village Ashrabdi within Sonargaon Sub-District which would continue for seven days as usual custom. On 4 February, 10 some perpetrators went to see Puja and they wanted to harass one Hindu girl sexually. Some Hindu people protested this ugly harassment and as a result there was scuffle between them and at one stage 20/25 perpetrators armed with sticks and other wooden lathies attacked the Hindu temple and damaged 6 (six) deities. As a result 4 persons were injured. The local Upazila Chairman Md. Mosharaf Hossain informed that the matter has been compromised.
According to the daily Janakantha (19.1.2010), Seven Murthies (Sarwasati deities) constructed for the purpose of Puja demolished by the perpetrators at Pal Para on Saturday night within Sajahanpur in the district of Bogra. Police informed there was preparation of 12 Sarawasati Deity in the village of Demajani of Sajahanpur Upazila. Those Murthies were constructed for the purpose of ensuring Sarwasati Puja. The deity maker worked till 10 a.m. But in the morning out of 12 Deities 7 seven deities are not traceable. After through search those seven deities were found in the jungle with broken conditions.
According to the daily Sangbad (16.12.2010), A powerful businessman within Muktagacha town of Mymensingh district forcefully occupied lands belonging to Hindus. Because the Hindu victim solicited justice, perpetrators obstructed roads and trying to evict him unlawfully. The victim alleged in a written complain that Ms.Raju Bala constructed a house purchasing .3.00 sataks of lands from Mohammad Hossain in the year, 1989 within Paratongi Mouza and she was staying thereon lawfully. During the period of 4 party alliances the powerful neighbour Abdus Sattar Saju –with connivance of political leaders of BNP-Jamat forcefully occupied those three sataks of lands and constructed building thereon. Abdus Sattar Saju threatened Ms.Raju Bala while she tried to intervene. In this connection there were local arbitrations to mete out justice to this women but the occupant most illegally obstructed roads with a view to grab the lands. In this connection a written complain addressed to the Minister for Lands & Reforms made who directed the Deputy Commissioner for taking necessary action. Consequently the powerful perpetrators became more agitating continuously threatening the members of this destitute minority to leave the country. Ram Das husband of Ms.Raju Bala informing press claimed that he deposited up-to-date rents of to the government. He also requested all concerned to get his lands back and necessary intervention by the highest authority being solicited.
According to the investigation report of Bangladesh Minority Watch and GHRD, on 27 October, 2009 Loly Chakma (15) has gang-raped in Sitakunda of Chittagong. The accused are 1) Zahur Member (40) son of late Hajee Atar Meah of Keshabpur, Lalbagh – P.S. Sitakunda, Chittagoong. 2) Sumon (35) son of Md. Ishaque of do 3) Shamim (26) son of Shah Alam driver, 4) Hannan (30) son of Md. Hanif 5) Nuruzamman Sawdagar (45) son of late Abul Khair, 6) Selim (32) son of late Nurul Hoque, 7) Monaiya @ Mona, (25) son of late Abul , all of Keshabpur, Lalbagh,, P.S. Sitakunda. District-Chittagong.
According to the Janakantha (4.10.2009), Two Minority Families belonging to Hindus at Kalapara Upazila of Patuakhali District of Bangladesh are going to be uprooted from their homestead because of false cases filed by Hashem Sikdar – a land grabber of same locality. Both the Hindu families submitted an appeal to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Ms.Sima and Ms.Ruma -daughters of Makhan Lal of those victims expressed their anguish and submitted an appeal to conscious people of Bangladesh to come forward for their protection of land rights.
According to the daily Star (27.11.2009), At least five women were injured as a local influential person and his men attacked and ransacked 17 houses in an attempt to illegally evict indigenous people in Shialor village in Haripur upazila of Thakurgaon on 26 November, 2009. Of the injured indigenous women, Baramai Maddi, 46, was committed to Haripur Upazila Health Complex in a critical state.
Police said Abdul Alim and his men attacked the indigenous people around 11:30am and badly damaged 17 thatched houses. President of Jatiya Adibashi Parishad of Haripur unit Soniram Hemrom told, about 50 people led by Alim launched the attack for illegally evicting them from Som Maddi’s ancestral land.
Alim claimed he purchased the 3.25 acres of land from Som’s mother 22 years ago. However, Soniram trashed the claim and said in their tradition mothers cannot sell any land. Soniram added on the day of the attack the indigenous male people went to the district headquarters to attend hearing of a case filed by Alim against 200 people to “harass” them.
Jahangir Alam Akash
Editor
Euro Bangla
&
The Human Rights Today
http://www.eurobangla.org/
editor.eurobangla@yahoo.de
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/
http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd

Monday, March 29, 2010

RAB and press freedom in Bangladesh

Statement of RAB DG and the reality of press freedom

By Jahangir Alam Akash, Every day, every moment the journalists are oppressing in Bangladesh by various ways. Sometimes they are torturing by law enforcers. On the other hand the political terrorists are persecuting journalists.
According to the daily Ittefaq (29-3-2010) on 27 March, 2010 three journalists have attacked by terrorists at Chitolmari in Bagherhat. The oppressed journalists are S.S. Sagor, general secretary of Chitolmari press club and the correspondent of daily Destiny, Salim Jahangir (daily Janmobhumi & daily Janata) and Ekramul Haque Munshi (daily Amardesh and daily Tortho). The terrorists have confined the injured journalists. They have rampaged the Grameen Enterprise shop and looted money and camera from the journalist.
A Hindu minority school teacher Basudev Majumder has insulted by the cadres of Saheb Ali Farazi. Farazi is the Vice Chairman of Chitolmari Upazilla. In this connection some reports have published. After then this attacked on press have occurred.
Now I want to express my opinion on the speech of the DG of RAB. We seem that now they would kill without justice in the sky and water? Because the government has declared that they would get Helicopter for watching terrorists from the sky. And they have also getting other facilities from the government for sky and water ways. DG of RAB has told (Source: daily Ittefaq, 29 March, 2010) that they didn’t kill anybody without justice. I want to say him why RAB-5 (Major Rashid and Major Humayun) were torturing and electric shocking me? Not only that they also hung me with the ceiling and blind folded me for 15 hours (Please read the book “15 hours in total Darkness” and “Extra judicial killings and Revenge”). Though I was not a criminal? Mr. DG of RAB, Could you please tell the people what my “fault” was? (Please watch the history of my torture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnyD9GFfZsU (Press freedom and Bangladesh) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saG7_iOcp3I (TIDE TV-Germany report)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1G8BUvZ_mc (Unbearable time)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xzaCRYCkqs (BIHR part-1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BthGnl-WEGo (BIHR part-2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnyyJHp3ET0 (BIHR part-3)
Mr. DG are you forgotten the brutal torture of journalist F.M. Masum (New Age)? Why the RAB torturing the journalists one after another? We demand the explanation of the cruelty on the media men. The people have deafer with your totally false speech on the RAB activity. People want to challenge you on this ground. Now it is very clear to the country people that what have doing RAB in the name of so-called ‘gunfight’? RAB is a black chapter of the history of Bangladesh. They are violating the rule of law, constitution, human rights and the international declaration of human rights.
Khondoker Hasan Mahmud also said that, more than 800 RAB men have gotten punishment. But what type of punishment they have got? He didn’t clear it. Those who are responsible for the brutal persecution of journalist Masum and Akash (me) are they gotten punishment? We don’t know. The people of Bangladesh want to see rule of law there.
Now I want to share with the readers of USA State Department report on freedom of press and speech: The constitution provides for freedom of speech and press, but the government occasionally did not respect these rights in practice.
Although public criticism of the government was common, newspapers depended on government advertisements for a significant percentage of their revenue. As a result, newspapers practiced self-censorship on some issues.
There were hundreds of daily and weekly independent publications. Although there were significant improvements over the previous year, newspapers critical of the government experienced some government pressure. Journalists perceived to be critical of the government and those aligned with the opposition alleged harassment from unspecified wings of the security forces and members of the ruling party. In addition to one official government-owned news service, there were two private news services.
Unlike in the previous year, the military’s Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) office and the DGFI did not directly restrict newspaper ownership or content. However, journalists reported the military cautioned them against criticizing the government or the military, especially in the aftermath of the BDR mutiny. Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, editor of Manabzamin and host of two television talk shows, stated in the English language New Age that officials told him indirectly to refrain from inviting specified guests during the BDR incident. He also said tapes for a particular talk show were taken from station several hours before the show was scheduled to be broadcast.
The host of a popular Bengali-language current affairs talk show, Point of Order, alleged she received phone calls from individuals identifying themselves as DGFI officials who warned her against promoting “antigovernment and antistate propaganda.” She also said sponsors of her program had been encouraged to stop their support of her show.
The government owned one radio and one television station. The parliament passed a law mandating that the public television station, BTV, remain the country’s only terrestrial broadcast channel. An estimated 60 percent of the population did not have access to private satellite channels.
There were 10 private satellite television stations and three private radio stations in operation. There were two foreign-based and licensed satellite television stations that maintained domestic news operations. Cable operators generally functioned without government interference. The government required all private stations to broadcast, without charge, selected government news programs and speeches by the prime minister.
The 24-hour all-news television station, CSB, which the government shut down in 2007, purportedly for not having a proper license, remained closed at year’s end.
Attacks on journalists continued to be a problem. There was an increase in individuals affiliated with the government or ruling party harassing, arresting, or assaulting journalists. According to Odhikar and media watchdog groups, at least three journalists were killed, 84 were injured, one was arrested, 45 were assaulted, 73 were threatened, and 23 had cases filed against them during the year. According to some journalists and human rights NGOs, journalists engaged in self-censorship for fear of retribution from the government.
On January 1, following the parliamentary elections, activists of the AL’s student wing, the Chhatra League, harassed and threatened with death Dhaka University correspondents of the Bengali and English publications Daily Sangbad, Janakantha, BDNews24.com, Destiny, and Janatar Chokh. The activists ransacked the reporters’ rooms, destroyed their valuables, and threatened to kill them. No action was taken against the alleged vandals.
On September 1, according to Odhikar, two Chattra League activists attacked and ransacked a store owned by the Chuadanga representative of the daily Amar Desh, reportedly in retaliation for a report published in the paper criticizing an AL member of parliament (MP). The activists set fire to the store and burned copies of Amar Desh. Members of the Chattra League then ransacked the store owner’s home and assaulted his wife and children. Chattra League and Jubo League members also ransacked the business of the Chuadanga representative of the daily Janakantha and the home of the local representative of the daily Prothom Alo.
On October 22, officers of RAB 10 arrested F.M. Masum, a reporter for the English-language daily New Age from his home in Jatrabari, near Dhaka. According to New Age and the Asia Human Rights Commission (AHRC), RAB members beat Masum with iron rods, wooden sticks and the blunt sides of machetes and rubbed salt into his wounds, allegedly because he had worked on several news stories on extrajudicial killings committed by the battalion and its involvement in the fight against drugs. Staff from New Age alleged Masum was targeted because he had written about violence against journalists. The home minister ordered RAB 10 to release Masum, and RAB officials announced an investigation into the matter. After the incident, RAB officials gave varying accounts of the reason for Masum’s detention, including that he had been found in possession of drugs and that he was found with prostitutes. However, when Masum was released, RAB officials stated he had been arrested for not cooperating with the law enforcement agency. RAB headquarters released a statement expressing regret for the incident and transferred one of the officers involved. No further action was taken at year’s end. The government took no further action in the May 2008 assaults against Daily Star correspondents Mirza Shakil and Iasinur Rahman.
There were no new developments in the case of Jahangir Alam Akash, who reportedly was tortured by authorities in November 2007. Akash ran his own blog devoted to press freedoms and human rights during the year.
There were no developments in the case of the Jai Jai Din editor who was fired in July 2008 because he published a cartoon critical of the Army Chief General Moeen Uddin Ahmed.
The trial court dismissed charges against accused teachers and students in the 2007 attack on journalists at Dhaka University. Tasneem Khalil, former Daily Star journalist and researcher for Human Rights Watch, continued to live in exile in Sweden following his 2007 interrogation and torture by joint forces.
Unlike in previous years, the government did not subject foreign publications and films to stringent reviews and censorship. A government-managed film censor board reviewed local and foreign films and had the authority to censor or ban films on the grounds of state security, law and order, religious sentiment, obscenity, foreign relations, defamation, or plagiarism, but this was less strict than in the past. In practice video rental libraries and DVD shops stocked a wide variety of films, and government efforts to enforce censorship on rentals were sporadic and ineffective.
Unlike in the previous year, the government only rarely exercised censorship in cases of immodest or obscene photographs, perceived misrepresentation or defamation of Islam, or objectionable comments regarding national leaders.
There were no developments regarding the 2007 decision to ban Alpin, the satirical weekly magazine of the newspaper Prothom Alo, due to alleged blasphemy against Islam.
Unlike in previous years, the government did not use defamation charges to curb freedom of speech.
Dear readers please read the inhumanity of RAB which report has published by USA state department: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Although the constitution prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment, security forces including the RAB, military, and police frequently employed severe physical and psychological abuse during arrests and interrogations. According to figures provided by human rights organizations, the use of such techniques dropped in 2008 but increased during the year. Abuse consisted of threats, beatings, and the use of electric shock. According to human rights organizations, security forces tortured at least 68 persons. The government rarely charged, convicted, or punished those responsible, and a climate of impunity allowed such abuses by the RAB, police, and military to continue.
On June 4, according to Odhikar, Kahalu police in Bogra arrested and tortured the president of the student wing of the BNP, Morshed Habib Bhuiyan Jewel, in Netrokona district. Jewel alleged that several times while in custody at the Netrokona Model Police Station three to four police officers blindfolded him, suspended him from the ceiling with handcuffs, and beat him with sticks from the waist down. According to Jewel, police also poured hot water into his nose and mouth. Netrokona police claimed Jewel was a suspect in a murder case and that they were interrogating him. Witnesses and the victim claimed police arrested him due to his political affiliation. Jewel remained in jail at year’s end.
There were no developments in the 2007 torture cases of Shahidul Islam, Mohammad Jamal Uddin, and Mohammad Kajol.
According to human rights organizations, there were at least three recorded incidents of rape and sexual abuse by law enforcement personnel.
For example, on February 28, according to Odhikar, four police constables gang-raped a member of an ethnic minority group in the Chittagong metropolitan area.
There were no new developments in the July 2008 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Sonargaon, Narayanganj, allegedly by RAB officer Abdul Gaffur. Gaffur was under arrest and awaiting trial at year’s end. There was no further investigation into the July 2008 rape of a young girl at Kamlapur Dhaka, allegedly by police subinspector Rezaul Karim.
Mr DG of RAB, please now tells your speech to the nation. Please be remember you are the servant of the state which owned by the people. So don’t tell a lie. Don’t further violate the human rights. ...END...
Jahangir Alam Akash
Editor
Euro Bangla
&
The Human Rights Today
http://www.eurobangla.org/
editor.eurobangla@yahoo.de
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/
http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd

Monday, March 22, 2010

Killings by the state and an exhibition

By Jahangir Alam Akash, The power of RAB is greater than the government. RAB is another black chapter in Bangladesh. 161 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Extra judicial killing have been going on very rapidly violating the highest court ruling order, the Constitution and the Universal Declaration by the law enforcers. The government has closed an exhibition on extra judicial killings in Bangladesh. This is the latest incidents regarding this inhuman issue.
The term “extrajudicial killing” means execution without justice. This is a grave human rights violation. It’s both a violation of Bangladesh’s constitution and of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But these types of killings still occur frequently in Bangladesh.
The State Minister for Home Affairs and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh openly support the extrajudicial killings, despite the fact that Bangladesh signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention against Torture. Not only that, the constitution of Bangladesh also safeguards the right to life.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 2004. According to Article 35(5) of the constitution of Bangladesh and 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 Article 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” But, in practice, Bangladesh does not ensure the right to life and has not complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitution of Bangladesh.
We can see that state institutions such as the judiciary, the rule of law, regulations, the constitution and the national assembly have been disabled. The media’s role regarding extrajudicial killings covered up under reports of “crossfire”, “gunfights” or “encounters” is negative and constrained. The media has only been publishing the normal reports about these encounters filed by the RAB or the police themselves.
A few human rights organizations have long been asking the government to stop the killings, terming them “extrajudicial”. Moreover, the High Court of Bangladesh, on June 29, 2009, asked the government to explain why killing people without a trial, in the form of extrajudicial killings, is not being declared as illegal, and why measures are not being taken against the perpetrators. After this ruling, we still haven’t seen anything happen.
Extrajudicial killings continue even in violation of the High Court’s ruling. How can they continue? It’s very alarming for human rights, democracy and the right to life. And why is the High Court silent regarding this gross human rights violation?
Both governmental and nongovernmental sources have said that the death toll has reached 161 from such extrajudicial killings – labeled as “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police – since January 6, 2009 (from January 6, 2009 to March 21, 2010) when the Awami League-led government assumed office. In Bangladesh, we have a so-called democracy, but there is no rule of law. Every day sees more killings of citizens by the state machinery, killings which are both well-planned and covered up.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day after day since 2002 (including operation clean heart). In 2004, the BNP-Jamaat government made a decision about extrajudicial killings and formed the RAB. From March 26, 2004 until March 21, 2010 around 1,700 people (including 58 killed peoples in operation clean heart in 2002) have been killed without justice.
The government of Bangladesh has sided with the extrajudicial killings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also said, in an indirect way, that extrajudicial killings will continue. She spoke clearly, upholding “crossfire” killings. What was said by our popular Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New York is very unfortunate for the rule of law, democracy, the constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the people of Bangladesh.
According to the Bdnews24.com, Sheikh Hasina talked with journalists in New York on Sept. 27, 2009. Referring to “crossfire” killings at the time, she said, “I do not believe in extrajudicial killings. But if anyone launches an armed attack (against a law enforcer), then they shouldn’t be allowed to kill them like sitting ducks.”
Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion continues to engage in extrajudicial killings despite Supreme Court directives to halt it. Although the court is handling the issue of extrajudicial killings, RAB does not seem to be bothered either about the judiciary or the country’s laws.
At least 29 people were killed in RAB’s custody since the court issued a suo moto order on Nov. 17, last year asking the government for an explanation into such types of killings. The High Court on Dec. 14, last year expressed grave concern over the recurring extrajudicial killings even as 11 people were killed in custody since the issuance of a suo moto order on Nov. 17, asking the government for an explanation on the matter.
During the court hearing, the Attorney General was asked to convey the court’s concern to the director general of RAB. The High Court also asked the Attorney General to take initiatives so that no such killings took place till the next hearing scheduled for January 9. In addition, the HC also asked the state’s top law officer for the names of RAB officials of Madaripur that were involved in detaining two brothers Lutfor and Khairul Khalasi who were killed on November 16. Later we heard that, that particulars bench of the High Court has broken by the Chief Justice before hearing. Why, we don’t know?
When the present ruling Awami League party was in opposition, they often raised their voices against extrajudicial killings. Not only that, during the last general election, which brought them to power, they often said that extrajudicial killings should be stopped. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also told the international community that her government did not support extrajudicial killings. Indeed, the government’s attitude, work and words on this issue of crossfire are unfortunately inappropriate.
The assertions of responsible people in the present government are shocking. Home minister Sahara Khatun recently said that, there was no crossfire. It seems, either directly or indirectly, the home minister and other ministers are defending the perpetrators of such “crossfire” killings. Finally we can say that, in Bangladesh has no rule of law.
On the other hand, Police has closed a photography exhibition on extra-judicial killings around an hour before it was scheduled to start at Drik Gallery in the city’s Dhanmondi of Bangladesh on 22nd March, 2010. According to the daily Star (23 March, 2010), a contingent of police went to the Drik Gallery building around 3:00pm and barred the invited guests and visitors from entering the building. The police also did not allow anybody to come out of the building, said a Drik Gallery source. Though two exhibitions are going on the first and the second floors of the building, the police only wanted to know whether the organisers have permission for the exhibition on “crossfire” from the authorities concerned. However, in the face of police interference, the exhibition was inaugurated by Indian rights activist Mahasweta Devi on the road in front of Drik Gallery at the scheduled time at 4:00pm. Officer-in-Charge of Dhanmondi Police Station Shah Alam said they have closed the exhibition first, as the organisers did not have any permission for the exhibition and secondly, as such an exhibition may cause fear in public and deteriorate the law and order. Shahidul Alam who set up the exhibition said,” Police asked me whether I have permission for the exhibition. Crossfire for which police do not need permission, then why should I have permission for the exhibition?” He also said, they have organised thousands of exhibitions since 1993 and they never required any permission. Some of those exhibitions were even inaugurated by the present and former prime ministers. “We organised the exhibition to raise awareness and draw the government and the court’s attention to the extra judicial killings through art, Shahidul told.
We want to say that the reports of so-called “crossfire”, “encounter” or “gunfight” killings that are done by the RAB and the police are totally false. We believe that terrorism should never be combated or controlled through state killings. It is the establishment of the rule of law that is essential to control terrorism.
Jahangir Alam Akash
Editor
The Human Rights Today
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/
jahangiralamakash@gmail.com
http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Press freedom and journalists oppression-killings

By Jahangir Alam Akash, The long autocratic government was just ended. I was then a college student. In the remote northern area of Bangladesh, Panchagarh, I worked as a trainee-journalist in Dainik (daily) Bangla. In its office I came to know the patriot journalist Mr. Shamsur Rahman Cable Bhai. 16 July is his death-anniversary. In this day in 2000, miscreants killed him by bullet. He was then in Jessore, as Staff Correspondent of daily Janakantha. He was the living store of terror, politics, socialism and all other informations. The days in the lives of Bangladesh Journalists come and go, months go New Year appears after the old but the trial for Journalist-murder does not happen. The head of another patriot journalist Manik Shaha was blown away with bomb-attack! Even today the bloody picture of him, I can clearly remember! Free media is far cry; the life of a journalist is not secured.
Without democracy, independence can’t be enjoyed, human rights is also then absent. In this world of disunity and illegalities, journalists are facing more risks. Journalist-killing-oppression in this restless world of war and terror is nothing new. 29 journalists have been killed including a writer in last 17 years. In last year 324 journalists were tortured by the ruling party cadres and law enforcers.
But gradually the call for freedom of press or for free media is going to be loud worldwide. Crossing the media this call has reached in the greater part of the society of citizens. Reason is that without the free media, democracy is helpless. Media and democracy is completing each other. In South Asia then, the risk of journalism is extreme. In Bangladesh, the journalists are facing incessantly the cruel supervisory of the government with state tortures and harassments.
The responsibility of the media is to lead the people to the path of truths with true reports. They are always in favour the oppressed, deprived, poor’s, victims of torture and persecutions. They fight for the establishment of rule of law, introduction of true democracy in state machineries and political system. From their professional duties and responsibilities, they are working amidst innumerable risks, threats and humiliations. In Bangladesh, two private TV Chanel have been closed by the government. If any news on corruption, nepotism, political terror, tender-frauds, and forceful occupations of properties are published, the concerned journalist is now to pay! He is to face the consequences!
As Journalist reports on the peoples’ wants, expectations and problems and on their reasons, they write about the corruptions and misuse of powers by the persons in power and in administration. So they are the direct targets of the law-enforcing authorities who are the backbones of the corrupt politicians and administrative officers. Ekushey TV and CSB News are two examples. They were very popular. Government on various please and tricks have closed the both Channels. Through intervention of the court, Ekushey TV has again been on broadcast. One latest example of torture on Journalist in Bangladesh is Biplob of Daily Shomokal, representative in Gafargaon, Mymensingh. His hands and feet were broken. A retired Army Officer who is now MP of AL has provoked directly to torture him, as reported in the Newspaper. We don’t know the end of the event. In Dhaka Uttara, a young Reporter of a Community based Newspaper; Sujan was killed on last 3 July. Few days back in Rajshahi, the Reporter of daily Star, Anowar Ali was wounded by terrorists attack. During the Emergency, apart from this writer, the Daily Star Journalist Tasneem Khalil was persecuted. In Sylhet, Bandorban, Nilphamari and many other places, Journalists were harassed through forged cases during the Emergency.
After 15 August 1975 with the murder of Sk. Mujibur Rahman, Military Government began to sit like a heavy stone on the people of Bangladesh. Through many movements, sacrifices, in 1990 the long reign of Army was ended, the pigeon of the democracy was free again. In 1991, BNP, founded by General Ziaur Rahman obtained the power through election. After coming to the power, BNP demolished all journalist-organisations. From the Newspapers and News Agencies and Media of the government, the Journalists who were not liked by BNP, they were evicted in mass. Without giving any termination-benefit, BNP government fired the then Daily Bangla editor Towab Khan, the then executive editor of weeklly Bichitra, Shahariar Kabir and other 12 senior journalists.
In 2002 to make a documentary Film for BBC Chanel-4, foreign Journalist Jaiba Malik and Bruno Sorentino came to Bangladesh. BNP government arrested these two British and Italian journalists, and Shahariar Kabir, Salim Samad and Pricila Raj of Bangladesh. On the fake charges of Bomb-attack event in a Cinema Hall in Mymensingh, the BSS Journalist Enamul Hoq Choudhury and prominent columnist and historian Professor Muntasir Mamun were arrested. While in custody during the BNP government, the journalists were brutally tortured.
At the end of April 2009 miscreants has threatened Shamim Parvez Khan, Dhamrai Correspondent of Daily Sangbad to kill his life. He took a courageous role to save the innocent people of the area from the forges cases. The vested interested circle was perturbed. In spite of GD entry in police station, the terrorists was not arrested. Shamim Al-Amin of Daily Shomokal in Gafargaon, Mymensingh was attacked in this time. His hands and feet were fractured. Attacks were made by the cadres of the Retd. Army Govt. MP Captain and Giasuddin Ahmed.
On 16 April 2006 during a Cricket Test Match of Bangladesh and Australia, on a frivolous incident, the Police led by the then DC Ali Akbar, engaged for the security attacked on the Journalists. On 29 May 2006 in Kushthia the then Govt. MPs let loose their cadres and on the attack, prominent Journalist, Editor of Bangladesh Observer, Mr. Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, President of BFJU, was severely wounded. I could still see in my mind the bloody face of him. Terrorists cadres were not punished.
Journalism is my profession, addiction and the total projection of my life. With my investigative journalism as I have tried to do something for the welfare of the people, that was the reason of the disaster of my life. I have always done ‘non-partisan’ reporting. I never thought of to be the victim of state-terrorism myself. About the oppressions and tortures I have reported and had no pretentions that they would act on my life as Boomerang, I shall be the victim of similar molestations. My life is at the door of destruction, insurity and insecurity now. I don’t know these uncertainties would ever end. Because the social stagnation of our country is only deteriorating, we are proceeding towards an uncivilised-barbar society. The growing extinctive powers are engulfing the entire country. Although we know, thousands of oppressions and threats cannot check the tide of the people. An idealist can’ be forced to give up his principles. No state terrors can extinguish the light of the truth. So the truth-hunters and pen-fighters journalists of Bangladesh can never be intimidated. The system of our justice is full of persecutions and oppressions. So people have taken the facts of crossfire and encounters, introduced by the state, very naturally (with exceptions). In general they don’t protest on the activities of Police, RAB or Army. Society is silent even though persons are killed under the custodies of police and RAB. Government has legalise (accept) these misdeeds. There is impunity also. The role of media is also controversial. They just report on the Press release on crossfires. Of course there is few who courageously report the truth and then fell into troubles!
The conscious of the nation are the Journalists. They help the upliftments of the country. But the tortures of RAB on have reached in peak during the Emergency: A bright example is I, myself. Another brave journalist, Shahariar Kabir, during the BNP-Jamat qualition government was indescribably tortured by RAB. He is a human rights personality, an eminent columnist. With wounds in his body he is now living. I have faced the same situation but we want that such barbarisms are not repeated with any Journalist anymore.
Murders and persecutions of the Journalists: Manik Saha, well-known Journalist of Daily Sangbad, New Age, correspondent of now closed Ekushey TV-Chanel was killed with heinous attack of terrorists bombs on 15 January 2004 around 1-15 p.m. Such a brutal murder of a Journalist is almost unparallel. In whole country, this killing was protested, a huge reactions occurred. But till today the murderers are out of legal-catch. On 2 March 2004, the part time Journalist of daily New Age, Abdul Latif Nabil of Keraniganj was slaughtered and killed. His wife had a lover, Nirjon Mustakin and he with his friends Shahidul Islam Pappu and the wife, Konok together had planned to kill Nabil as he earlier opposed her breach of marriage. They were all arrested.
On 27 June 2004 Khulna Pressclub President Humayun Kabir Balu, Editor Dainik Jonmobhumi was killed by terrorist bombing in Khulna. In the same year on 21 August, at night the daily Ajker Kagoj-Correspondent and Upozilla Chattra Dal General Secretary Kamal Hossain of Manikchari, Khagrachori was kidnapped from his house and slaughtered. In the same year on 2 October at late night, Diponkor Chakraborty (59), Executive Editor of Durjoy Bangla, Bogra and Vice-President BFUJ was killed by the terrorists by the side of his house in Sanyalpara, Sherpur. The killers have chopped him with axe. On 14 October 2004 in the evening, in Katabon, Dhaka, terrorists entered into the office of daily Newspaper, Asian Express and shot and killed Shaheed Anowar Appolo (35). Appolo was the Executive Editor of the Asian Express, known from a visiting card from his pocket. It happened due to a conflict with contractory business.
On 5 February 2005 in Khula Press club with bomb attacks Sk Belaluddin, Khulna Bureau Chief of daily Sangram was killed and 4 other Journalists were injured. At Comilla, on 29 May 2005, at midnight, Muhammad Gholam Mahfuz (38), Editor and Publisher of Daily Muktokantho of Comilla was slaughtered and killed by the terrorists. The Correspondent of daily Shomokal in Faridpur, Gautam Das, Correspondent of daily Runner in Jessore, Gholam Majed, Harun-ar-Rashid of Khulna, Humayun Kabir Balu of daily Jonmobhumi, Manik Saha of daily Sangbad, Jalaluddin of Rangamati, Mir Ilyas Hossain Dilip of Jhinaidoho, Sk. Belaluddin of daily Sangbad, Nohor Ali, Shukur Ali Hossain, Ahsan Ali of Narayanganj, Faruk Ahmed of Moulavibajar, of Nilsagar, Nilphamari Muhammad Kamruzzaman, S.M. Alauddin of Satkhira, Samsur Rahman Kebol of daily Jonokantho, Jessore, Saiful Alam Mukul were all killed by the terrorists. Whether any criminal of the murders of Journalists, Writers, Intellectuals and Humanrights-workers has been punished, we don’t know. During the qualition government, on purely political grounds, prominent columnist Professor Muntasir Mamun, Journalist Shahariar Kabir, Enamul Hoq Choudhury was victims of state terrorism. Eminent Journalists Iqbal Sobhan Choudhury, Alhaj Zahirul Hoq were molested. Persecuted was Journalist Prabir Shikdar, Tipu Sultan. In the last 15 years, 23 Journalists were killed in Bangladesh. From Dhaka Uttara published, community based fortnightly Muktomon’s Journalist Nurul Kabir Sujan was killed by the terrorists. The last victim of Journalist-killing in Bangladesh is Sujon.
Much discussed Journalist-killings: Journalist Manik Saha, Shamsur Rahman Kebol, Humayun Kabir Balu, Diponkor Chakravarty, Goutam Das, and Harun-ar-Rashid Khokan. Saiful Alam Mukul, Sk. Belaluddin. During the army-controlled Emergency interim government the oppressed Journalists: Editor daily Janakantha and Publisher Freedom Fighter, Atikullah Khan Masud, Tasnim Khalil, Cartoonist Arifur Rahman etc. Following the events in DU and RU, the prominent dramatist and columnist Malay Bhowmic was the victim of vicious tortures. No real culprits of these crimes have been tried. As per the report of private organisation, ‘Odhikar’, in the time of the present government from last January to 30 June, 2009, 41 Journalists are victims of oppressions. Five of them were physically assaulted due to their reports. 38 Journaists were threatened in this period.
These incidences are not new. During Emergency, Journalist were taken to Army Camp and tortured physically. Whether the Journalist-community could effectively demand justice for the persecutions of their colleagues, it is also a big question of today! Journalists are divided and the politicalisations of them, absence of proper administration and effective democracy, opportunism, parity, media towards the capital of the riches and other reasons have worked as obstacles for the justice of journalists-murder and tortures. As Journalists and citizens of the country, we want to say clearly neither a politician, nor a Journalist, nor a citizen, nor from other professions must not be tortured under custody of law and order. On behalf of the Journailists Community, this is our demand and expectation.
All accused, criminals and the persons related to them must be brought into books and tried. Till today no effective enquiry and trial has been done.
Without an ideological change of the society, the Freedom of Press in Bangladesh is a Golden deer. Corrupts in every government have the upper hands. With black money, new riches are buying the Media gradually. Emergency government has controlled media through proclamations. Media is under the ownerships of black-money holders. They have no ideals without inception. Primarily Journalists are facing the obvious self-censorships. Surrounding the government ads, hundreds of Newspapers are born in the country. How many of them do anything for social welfare? Advertisement is a big weapon of the government to control the media. The multinational companies are controlling media through ads. Crisis in profession is also an obstacle for the Freedom of Press in Bangladesh.
Another problem is the absence of true definitions of ‚contempt to Court’ and ‚defamation’. Recently the contempt to Court was raised against the Publisher-Editor of dainik Prothom Alo. What report is ‚contempt to Court’, which is not, is not clearly defined anywhere. This is a risk for the journalists. Above all, in Bangladesh there is no ‚National Codes of Broadcast’. Giving explanations and maladministration, disunity amongst Journalists, political divisions and ´because of the eco-social-political structures, Journalists-persecutions are not ended. If any journalist is killed or mishandled, there is no trial. So the criminals are encouraged.
The remedies are blocked in the fixed ideas of the people. They think Justice has gone to ashtray! It must be broken through the mass unity of the patriots. If we can go up of the mere interests of politics, personal or groups, then through peoples-uprisings, the problems of state and society can be solved. The culture of the absence of justice and impunity’ is so deeply rooted that after the brutal killings of the colleague, we are to go to the street with slogan, ‘we don’t get justice so we don’t want it.’ We wish a change of this situation.
Good news are that the Emergency government has framed ‚the Community-Radio-Codes’, Human rights Commission has been formed. The present government with the implementation of ‚Right to Information-Act’ has enabled Media a step ahead to its Freedom, experts believe. But only Acts do not act. These are to be materialised through free-executions. New Information Minister has said, ‚the cases against the journalists will be withdrawn.’ It is very good. But one thing must be clear: For example, one Journalist X who has done really crimes. Will his case be withdrawn also? We want to say distinctly as a responsible citizen, no, all cases should not be withdrawn. The forged cases filed for harassments should only be withdrawn. Otherwise the rule of law would be hampered.
Jahangir Alam Akash
Editor
The Human Rights Today
jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

http://jaakash.wordpress.com/

http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Justice cry in secret!

By Jahangir Alam Akash, The death sentences of six Militants including Siddiqul Islam alias ‚Bangla Bhai’ (in reality ‚Pakibhai’), the real founder of Militancy in Bangladesh and his spiritual Guru Shayokh Abdul Rahman were effected in March 2007. On the charges of killings the judges in Jhalokhathi, they were sentenced to death. On the other side, Dr. Muhammad Asadullah Ghalib, Professor and Ex Chairman of Arabic Department of Rajshahi University, charged with militant activities, has been released after a long imprisonment. But the influential’s of BNP-Jamat qualition government who were the chief patrons of the Militants are still out of touch! The local cadres of Banglabhai, Abdur Rahman and Dr. Ghalib are also free. Besides Militant Godfathers are also still untouched. No trial was held following the more than years of tortures and reign of terrors in the name of so-called ‚Shorobohara-subdue’ by Shayokh Rahman and Banglabhai in Northbengal. The victims’ allegations and crying are floating on the ear in Northern areas specially in greater Rajshahi. The Justice cry in secret! Banglabhai was a real picture of terror in greater Rajshahi. He led his personal social, political, economic and administrative reign here. More than one ministers, MP, state Ministers of the last BNP-Jamat-qualition government and other influentials, police have helped him and his armed group in all respects.
On the 1 October 2004 in greater Rajshahi it was started! Suddenly with Crowbar, spears, big choppers, batons and arms in hands with green barrettes in waist and head, a group of militants appeared in Baghmara, Rajshahi. In village Polashi, in the cultivating field poor farmer and Awami League worker Wasim alias Osman Babu 827) was working. Under the leadership of Banglabhai, terrorists made him wounded with choppings and then killed him. After this heinous murder, they went to the Bangmara Police Station celebrating and rejoicing. On this the reign of terror led by Banglabhai in Rajshahi began, under the banner of ‚Shorbohara-killings’. Latter on his reign of terror was spread to the greater Rajshahi in Baghmara, Puthia, Noldanga (Natore), Natore Sadar, Atrai (Natore) and Raninagar Upozilla.

Hung to death: On 29 March, 2007 was executed the order of hung to death of the militant leaders. Leader of banned Islamist militancy group Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai was hanged to death on midnight Thursday 29 March, 2007.
Militant Siddiqul Islam and Abdul Awal were hanged to death in Mymensingh prison. Another convicted militant – Khalid Saifullah was hanged in Pabna prison around the same time.
The dead bodies of the militants were taken to their respective villages amidst tight security for burial.
All three militants were earlier convicted and sentenced to death for grenade attacks that killed a number of innocent people, including two judges named Jagannath Parey and Sohel Ahmed in the coastal town of Jhalkathi.

Registrar of killings and tortures: Bangla Bhai and his armed group through murders and terrors created a reign of terror. Within about one year’s expedition, they killed 32 tying their hands and feet, hanging. About 500 persons have become handicap. At least 3,000 were the victims of torture! Including members of the parliament hundreds of people became homeless. After being abducted from homes by Bangla Bhai-group, including religious minorities Tarun, Shufol, Shushanto of Naogaon, Atrari, Raninagar, Abu Taleb Bhutta of Shajuria village, Shahidul Islam of Baruihati village, at least 5/7 persons are still missing for the last 5 years. Police and local people think, they were all killed. No honest and effective enquiry was made for the killings and tortures by Militants. No trial was performed. The victims’ family have faced much harassments and deceptions but yet they do not give up the hopes of justice. After the coming of power of Sk. Hasina Wajed, this latent hope has been revived again. In the field cases on charges of helping Militants, influential Minister Barrister Aminul Hoque of BNP-Jamat qualition government, Rajshahi BNP-General Secretary Shish Muhammad are sentenced with 31 years of imprisonment. But the defendants could not be arrested by Police or RAB still now.
List of killeds: Identities of the 32 killed by Bangla Bhai and his group through tortures are found. They are, on 1 April 2004, Wasim alias Osman Babu, on 11 April (after tortures, on 11 April, died on 17 April), Militants hanged Golam Robbani Mukul of Kanopara, on 20 April Durgapur Awami League Leader and UP member Ajhar Ali, on 22 April Mosharraf Hossain of Belgharia, Raninagar, , Saifur of Pirgacha, Natore, on 23 July Diponkar of Kashiabari, Atrai (in the same way), on 27 April Diponkar Roy and UP Dafadar of Kashiabari, in the month of April Azahar Ali of Durgapur Awami League and UP member was tortured, he became ill and died last year, on 1 May retired army soldier Sk Farid of Bhonpara, Atrai, unknown 3 persons, on the 13 May Rabeya of Neempara committed suicide after rape on 14 May), on 15 May the deadbody of Abdul Kayyum Badsha was hanged in the tree. He was the much known Awami League and Shorbohara leader of Shafikpur, Raninnagar. On 24 June the Wami League and Shorbohara leader Khejur Ali of Shimba Village, Raninagar was killed, cut into pieces, Afzal of Borogacha of Raninnaga, on 30 June, Union Awami League Publiciy Secretary Yasin Ali of Baghmara Maria Union was hanged in the tree and killed through much torture. On the 25 June, unkown 3 persons of Bashudebpur were killed, on 14 November in the Raninagar Bheti Camp, Chatraleague leader Ziaul Hoque Zia, on 27th NovemberBNP (Mahbub) leader Ali Akbar of in Bishnupur of Taherpur, Baghmara, on 22 January 2oo5, Awami League Sreepur leader Mahabub was killed and attempt was made to kill Awami league popular leader UP Chairman Moqbul Hossain Mridha. Besides, the victim of the torture of Bangla Bhai, the fugitive widow old Rahima died few days back. After about five years, Abdul Bari of Baghmara came back home.

Those who helped and assisted Bangla Bhai and his group: The then SP Rajshahi Masud Mia, much discussed on the Bangla Bhai activities and now fired from the job on the same allegations, Ex BNP MP of Puthia-Durgapur and General Secretary of Rajshahi BNP Nadim Mostofa, Ex BNP-Jamat qualition government’s Housing and Public works State Minister and present LDP leader Alamgir Kabir, Ex land Deputy Minister Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, The Ex Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation Mijanur Rahman Minu, Ex Post and Telecommunication Minister Barrister Aminul Hoq. They are all alleged to give Militants gover´nment helps. In the background of Militants’ activities, it is complained that Jamat-Shibir have played a major role. From the 14 political parties including CPB and Awami League, this complain has been made. Besides against the Ex Industry Minister and Chief of Jamat (Ameer) Matur Rahman Nizami and the Secretary General of BNP Ex Social- welfare Minister Ali Ahsan Mujahid, the same complain has been made from them. But the common people believe, the real Godfathers of the Militant activities are the ‚independence-opponents’ murder clique. In the grass roots, all Militants had started their political career with Jamat-Shibir.

The existence of Bangla Bhai denied, then agreed and the order of his arrest: Because of the terrorist activities in the name of so-called ‚Islamic Revolution’, and the atrocities led by Bangla Bhai in Northbengal, Bangladesh Government, inside and outside the country faced tremendous criticism. But BNP-Jamat government Ministers and influential leaders told, ‚there is no existence of Bangla Bhai and Militants in Bangladesh. ‚They are creations of media.’ So the government tried to avoid the responsibility. But on 23 May 2004, the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia ordered to arrest Bangla Bhai, and for the first time the important persons of the government who told about ‚no existence of Militants or Bangla Bhai’ became ludicrous!
On 22 January 2005 Bangla Bhai cadres came to Baghmara to kill the popular Awami League leader and UP Chairman Moqbul Hossain Mridha but they faced peoles’ resistance. They threw bombs on mob and killed Awami League leader Mahabur Rahman. On this day, by the mass-beatings of furious people, 3 of Banglabhai cadres were killed. After this incidence, on 24 January 2005, the controversial SP of Rajshahi Masud Mia first confessed that ‚there is a Bangla Bhai’! At the same time, Prime Minister again ordered to arrest him. After this order of the Prime Minister, in different places of the country, many Militant-cadres were arrested. From their confessional statements, the names of Bangla Bhai, his spiritual Guru Shayokh Abdur Rahman and his leader, Professor of Rajshahi University, Dr. Muhammad Asadullah Ghalib came out. At the instruction of the highest command of BNP-Jamat government, on 22 February, 2005 at early morning (23 February), Dr. Ghalib and three of his partners, Abdus Samad Salafi, Abdul Latif and Azizullah were arrested. Actually the matter of Banglabhai and Abdur Rahman was kept down. The operation to arrest Banglabhai has been faded away.
On 11 March 2005, the then Rajshahi SP masud Mia was suspended. Later on government fired him on the charges of helping the Militants. On 11 September 2005, from the Police Headquarter Awards were announced for the captures of Bangla Bhai and Shayokh Abdur Rahman. In the same year, 28 September, State Minister of Home declared the amount of this award, 1 Crore for both, 50 lakkhs for each. After much drama, on 1 March 2006, from Shaplabagh Shurja Dighol Bari in Sylhet, Shayokh Rahman surrendered to Police. In the same year on 6 March, Bangla Bhai was arrested in a house in village Rampura of Muktagacha, Mymensingh.

Why Militants’ activites were started: For about a decade, the terrorists of so-called Shorbohara in greater Rajshahi have changed the lives of the people to hell!
The government failed to suppress them. Because of the political bankruptcy police has never made an effective operation against the Shorobihara. The Shorbohara terrorists on 7 February 2004 in the evening, in Kamarpara Bazar, Noldanga Upozilla of Natore shot, slaughtered and killed Gama, the Jubodal leader, nephew of Land Deputy Minister. On this ground BNP supporter terrorists raided 31 houses and 15 shops belonged to Awami League leaders-supporters-workers in Kazipara, Noldanga. They plundered all, demolished and set fire. Fire was set through gunpowder. Two other Nephews of Ex Minister Dulu and Jubodal leader Dollar and Dalim led this devastating destructive event by about 200 armed cadres. In that year in February, Shorbohara killed Land Deputy Minister’s Nephew and Jubodal leader Gama, his partner Jubodal leader Pakhi of Sadhonpur Puthia and Durgapur BNP leader and Ward Commissiioner Anowar. Pakhi and Anowar were very close the BNP MP Nadim Mostofa. After the nephew of Ex Deputy Land Minister was killed by Shorbohara, to suppress them, Militants were let loose in the battle field, it is heard. At the beginning, they called them as, ‚Dulu Bahini, ‚Gama Bahini’, ‚Al-Quaida Bahini’, ‚Muslim Rakhsha Parishad’, ‚Mujahedin Bangladesh’, ‚Harkat ul-Jihad’, and other names. Later on they were combined and made operations under the name, ‚Jagroto Muslim Jonota Bangladesh’ or JMB. Within few days after their operations against Shorbohara began, people could understand, the actual aim was not to uproot Shorbohara. Soon they were fed up with the miscreants of this new anti-constitution and anti-state activists.

Who is this Bangla Bhai? : Bangla Nhai is name of a ‚panic-maker’ in Northbengal. He first appeared to uproot the Shorbohara. But his tortures, oppressions were much more! He is the Chief of Jagroto Muslim Bangladesh and operational Chief of Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB), Bangla Bhai alias Siddiqul Islam (45) s/o Najir Hossain. He is from Gabtali Upozilla, District Bogra, in village Kornipara, Mohishbathan Union.
From the Sartaj Fazil Madrasha of the same Upozilla, he passed Dakhil Examination in 1989, Alim Examination in 1991. He passed B.A. (Hons) in Bengali from the Bogra Azizul Hoq College in 1995 and 1997, got the Masters Degree here. In Lathiganj School and College (Gabtali), he worked as lecturer of Bengali for 3 years. In this time he also directed Retina, Coaching Centre run by Chatrashibir in Bogra Town.
Another source says, as his result was not satisfactory, he started working with the Chatrashibir Coaching centre in Dhaka. His brother Rafikul Islam has done Chatal business in Gerírhat, Gabtoli. Another brother Jahurul Islam ist he teacher of Moksedia Alim Madrasha in Mohishbathan Union. He married the daughter of Chilmanerpara Madrasha Teacher Ibrahim Hossain, Rokeya Begum of Shaghata Village and Upozilla of Gaibandha District. One of his brothers-in-law Omar Faruk is also a teacher of this Madrasha. As student, Banglabhai was active with Chtrashibir politics.

International Militant-connection and Bangla Bhai: He joined the Islamic extreme terrorist group in Dhaka and related with one communal leader and the dreamer of so-called Islamic Revolution, Shayokh Abdur Rahman of Jamalpur. He became a friend of Dr. Professor Muhammad Asadullah-Al-Ghalib. He directed the Motivation and Training Camps in order to create Muslim and Jihadi organisations. The poor youths of villages were recruited. In villages, in the Mosques and Madrashas, organisational and armed trainings were given. Dr. M. Asadullah al-Ghalib, ‚Bangla Bhai’, Shayokh Abdur Rahman, Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh, Jagroto Muslim Jonota Bangladesh and Ahle Haduth Movement Bangladesh are all knoted in the same thread. The theory of Dr. Galib is to capture the state power through Jihad. But before that ‚the society must be made uneasy with terrors and violence. People must be poisoned about the present social and state structures.’ Taking lessons on this, including Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Bogra, Natore, Chapai Nowabganj, Shatkhira, Sylhet, Jamalpur, Comilla, Jaipurhat in about 60 Districts of Bangladesh, their activities were intensified. They have a big workers group of good organised 50,000 members. With ‚Bagar’ or Bangla Bhai-Ghalib and Rahman have relations with Pakistan, Lybiya, Afganistan, Kashmir, Rohinga Refugees-terrorists and with many other fundamentalists and armed organisations of many countries. These three persons arranged millions of foreign money and with this big finance, are trying to impose religious administration upon the people in the name of so-called ‚Islamic Revolution’ through directing terrors, bombings, murders-tortures in different places of the country.
It is complained that long 25 years they have organised secretly and only before 8/10 years, they started open terrorism. With the help of the above mentioned 3 persons, with a view to preach and extend Islam in Bangladesh, from the northern Province of India, Abdul Matin Salafi collected fund from Middle East and started to send cash money here through the borders of Chapai Nowabganj and Lalgola India and other borders. It is known as ‚Salafi Movement’ in Saudi Arabia but in Bangladesh it is as ‚Ahle Hadith Juboshangha or Jagroto Muslim Jonota (JMB). The same organisation is in India, ‚Jayse Hind’ and ‚Jayse Muhammad’ Militants in Pakistan. There are informations, they have also connections with Al-Quaida net work. In Bangladesh Army, there are about 3,000 Ghalib-supporters. But Dr. Ghalib and his followers claim that they have no relation with Militancy.

First operation in Nothbengal : Bangla Bhai led an armed fight agaist Police in Puthia 0n 1 August 2003. It happened in Maheshpur village in Khetlal Upozialla, Joypurhat. Babgla Bhai and his followers looted police arms. As Mujahid of Bangladesh of Jamaatul Mujahidin, Bangla Bhai took part in that fight against Police. It was his first operation inside Bangladesh. Here with Jihad-documents, 19 armed cadres of Bangla Bhai were arrested. After few days, while visiting his arrested partners, Bangla Bhai was also arrested.

Bangla Bhai was arrested, but…: on 17th August 2002 in Mollahat, Bagerhat on the charges of tortures on religious minorities and to kill Awami League leader and his daughter, Police arrested Bangla Bhai and his followers. After arrest, he kept his Militant Identity secret and identified himself as a leader of Bangladesh Ahle Hadith Movement and a learned Alim and told his name as Siddikul Islam. He was then 4 weeks in the Bagerhat Prison. But he was released through the recommendations of some BNP-Jamat government’s influential Ministers and MPs. Recently, this case was reactivated and a charge sheet was submitted against Bangla Bhai and his followers.

The meeting of Banglla Bhai with SP Masud Mia: On 24 April 2004 morning around 9-30, Bangla Bhai in a white Micro van (Dhaka Metro Cho-11-0411) with 7/8 armed cadres started from Baghmara. In Mohonpur, people attacked the Microbus. They thought the passengers were robbers. Bangla Bhai informed police in wireless of the cadres. Police rushed in and recovered them. At morning 10-30, in the crossing of Rajshahi Bornali, for the second time the bus was attacked by people. In the same way, Bangla Bhai sent message to Alfa-1(Set of Police Commissioner). A special group of RMP Police came and escorted the Bus directly to the office of Police Superintendent. In the office SP Masud Mia, 2 hours close-door Meeting was held. After the sitting, Bangla Bhai returned to Baghmara with the Microbus. Before this day, two nights, a group of Bangla Bhai cadre’s patrolled the city in many places with arms.

The Bangla Bhai Armed cadres’ attack on Rajshahi: On 23 May, 2004, with thousands of cadres, Bangla Bhai made a parade in Rajshahi. After the armed parade, Militants submitted Memorandum to he then District Commissioner (now Commissioner of Dhaka Division) M. Aziz Hasan, SP Masud Mia and DIG (present IG of Police) Nur Muhammad in the name of ’Jagroto Muslim Jonota Bangladesh.’ The Administration gave protections to the armed Militants as honourable guests. The total city became panicky with the armed agitations and assembly of the armed Militants.

What Bangla Bhai and his followers did: They took the law in their hands, caused the reign of terror in the name of controlling the Shorbohara. Some influential MP, Ministers and Police helped them. In the name of JMB, the Militant armed Cadres created a parallel state of tortures and lawlessness. Bangla Bhai, in the name of Shorbohara-suppression, reigned in Baghmara, Puthia, Durgapur of Rajshahi, Noldanga of Natore, Atrai of Naogaon and adjacent areas of these Upozillas. He has announced many so called religious decrees (Fatwa) on the people. Namaj (Prayer) was made compulsory. Even non-Muslims were compelled to pray! Smoking was prohibited; Borqua for women was a must. If anybody defies, he was put to untold tortures. At least 9 ‚torture-camps’ were built up. There in the procedures of the Middle East barbarous methods, tortures were done. Any body was doubted as Shorbohara, was brought and his hands and feet were fractured. While torturing, through microphone, the cryings were broadcast, so that public could hear! It was done to break the moral of the common people.

Threatens to kill Journalists and Politicians: Babgla Bhai and his followers had tremendous anger with the journalists. On 23 May 2004, in different Road-corners, Militants organised street meetings and threatened the Journalists of Janakantha, Rajshahi Staff Reporter Anisuzzaman, Jahangir Alam Akash of Deutsce Welle (Freelancer) and Daily Sangbad (staff reporter), local Daily Sonali Sangbad Staff Reporter Mahtab Choudhury, Photo Journalist Selim Jahangir, President of Rajshahi District Awami League and former MP Advocate Tajul Islam Muhammad Faruque and Workers Party Polite Bureau member newly elected MP Fozle Hossain Badshah.

The first GD entry against Bangla Bhai to stop the Militants’ killings-oppressions: Personally I am a professional Journalist and Humanrights activist. But as my commitment to the society, on 30 May 2004, I submitted two GD entries against the JMB tortures, oppressions and the forceful contributions-collections and their threats to the Journalists 2 political leaders and murders by the Bangla Bhai and his armed cadres. But Police did not enquire tha cases till today. It is stated in GD, (Baghmara Thana GD No.- 1647, Boalia Than GD No.- 1587, both were dated 30-05-2004), From the 1 April 2004, in greater Rajshahi Area in Baghmara, Atrai, Raninagar, Noldanga (Natore), Durgapur, Puthia and other areas, in the name of so-called subdue of Shorbohara, endless and untold tortures are being committed on the common people. Murder, Rape, Contribution-collection, Plundering of crops and other miscreants are in abundance. Although the state has a democratic government and regular law and order-force authorities, a private armed cadres so called Bangla Bhai armed militants, defying all rules, laws of the country are committing heinous and barbarous tortures. Men are hanged in trees after the torture. People have become panicky with terrible fear of terrors. As per 35 (5) clause of Bangladesh Constitution and as per the Universal Decree of Human rights Para 5, nobody can torture anybody under any circumstances. But the self proclaimed ‚Bangla Bhai’ alias Siddikul Islam s/o Najir Hossain alias Shamsher Ali, village: Kornipara, Upozilla: Gabtali, district: Bogra is leading the tortures and persecutions in the name of so-called controlling the Shorbohara, as like as the 1971 black days. From 1 April to this day (GD entry), including one retired Army member, Bangla Bhai through tortures, has killed 10 persons in total. About 200 people have been so far injured.
The armed militants of Bangla Bhai threatened openly to kill 4 journalists and two political leaders of Rajshahi, Tajul Islam Islam Muhammad Faruque, President District Awami League and Fozle Hossain Badsha, Polite Bureau Member of the Workers Party (now member of the Parliament) on 23 May 2004, the day thousands of Bangla Bhai Cadres with lethal weapons entered in the Rajshahi City. This threat was made in the Zero Point where they organised a street meeting. In the GD entry it was mentioned. Except this, in no police station there is any report against Bangla Bhai. Police did make no enquiry of this GD entry.

Statements of the victims: Abdul Jalil (58) the brave Freedom Fighter of Raninagar, tortured by Bangla Vhai fought for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. While this patriot was eating, Bangla Bhai Cadre snatched away the plate from him and beat him mercilessly. He described his story with eyes full of tears. In the same way the night guard of Bheti Madrasha Abdur Razzak (52) was beaten. He was poured with hot water. He said that ‚Allah will punish them.’ Handicap Fazlur Rahman said, ‚ in this soil of mother Bangladesh, Bangla Bhai and his followers were hanged to death. But their patrons are still free. They also must be tried. I only want this.’ The victim of molestations, Housewife Shafi Nur Nahar said, ‚I first filed a case against the crimes of Bangla Bhai and his cadres. Out of fear, Advocate did not have the courage to take necessary actions for the case. Militant-helper and Godfather SP Masud Mia and all other cadres of Bangla Bhai must be brought to the court.’
Mother of Abu Taleb, Rabeya Bewa of Shajuria village (Baghmara) told about the missing son (after he was abducted by the Militants), ‚Militants of Bangla Bhai took away my son to the house of Ramjan Kaya. I went to Bangla Bhai, he kicked me to the ground. My son cried for water but he was not given even a drop! They also threatened me and my husband to kill. I have searched everywhere. But till today, there is no trace of my son. What shall I eat now? I want justice and compensation. Khodeja Bewa, mother of Mukul said, ‚ In Taherpur High School ground, in the name of Islamic meeting, they took my son away. There he was hanged in the tree and killed. I have heard his cry, during the torture. I want justice.’ Militants made Khejur’s dead body 4 pieces. Then they were buried under earth. The wife of Khejur said, ‚ at the wink of State Minister Alamgir Kabir took my husband from the house beating. They plundered the money from Paddy-sale and ornaments. My husband’s only crime was he was the Reading Room Secretary of Thana Chatraleague. How could Bangla Bhai in broad day light, in presence of Police, kill him? My old father-in-law, my two child daughters, what would happen to them now? Can Militants or their patron Alamgir say where was hall go now? Government made such an armed cadres, that other than killings, they could give nothing. On the 1 October, 2001, in Election Day at Shimba’s School, while Alamgir was canvassing, my husband protested. Later on they have made his dead body 4 pieces and took the revenge. Militants now say- we made Khejur 4 pieces, hanged the dead body of Badsha in tree. Nothing has happened. We would be arrested as a part of a drama. Nothing would occur to us. I want ‚hang till death’ of Ex state Minister Alamgir Kabir and cadres. ´They are still roaming, why law has not been enforced against them?’
The father of killed Diponkor, Dijendranath of Kashiabari (Atrai) said, ‚I want justice for the killing of my son. I want them to be hanged.’ Ismail father of murdered Yasin of Baghmara said,’ my son was the member of Awami League. I want justice for his killing. This is my only demand and request.’ Mohsin father of Monowar Hossain of Sargatia village of Noldanga who was killed on 1 April 2004 by Bangla Bhai himself, said, ‚ my son was a student of Taherpur Degree College and worker of Chatra league. The cadres of Minister Dulu (Deputy Minister Ruhul Quddus Dulu) not only killed my son, they also demolished and plundered my house. I with all my family members were threatened to be killed. After 1 October 2001 election Dulu cadres tried twice my son to kill. But I got no justice. I want now the justice form y son’s murder and compensation.’ Child daughter Farjana of the Rtd. Army member killed Sk. Farid of Bhonpara (Atrai) said, ‚my father was innocent. Why Bangla Bhai and his local cadres killed him? I want justice.’ Wife of Sk. Farid Laili Begum said, ‚ nine cadres and Bangla Bhai tortured my husband for 3 hours. And they killed him. I want justice.’ School teacher Mahmud Musa brother of Abdul Kayyum Badshah of Shafikpur Raninagar who was, after killing, hanged upside down in a tree by the road of Bamon village, of Bhatra Union, Nandigram, Bogra, said, ‚ on October 2001, Bangla Bhai did write a scandalous chapter of Bangladesh. We saw a new model of tortures-oppressions that time. We are the victims of the persecutions of Infamous Shayokh Abdur Rahman and JMB. We have law and order, Police, RAB, Army, BDR, then why a private Army was let loose on us? After kidnapping, my brother was taken to Bashbaria Camp. He was killed there. But Police did not yet search that Camp. The Camp is still active. They announced the trial and slaughter of Badshah through miking, and then he was killed. What a country we have, what law we have? I went to the then SP Fazlur Rahman and told if my brother was a criminal, arrest him, try him and if necessary hang him.SP said, this is the order of the political High Command. We can’t do anything. I want the hangings of Bangla Bhai, Shayokh Rahman and their patrons. In our area still now who roam with heads high, they threat us, they are to be arrested and tried. I want the punishments of Militant Godfather Ministers and MPs.

Case Study: The poor peasant Fazlur Rahman (45) of village Hasanpur, Dippur Union (Baghmara) is now handicap and walks with scratch. To feed 3 daughters, father Fazlu now beg from door to door as he cannot physically work. His body in different places is attacked gangrene as he can’t treat because of poverty. He is living with unbearable pains. Those have made him so, many of them were tried but others are still free. They are threatening him to withdraw the case. They say, otherwise, they would kill all family members. Following the family conflicts for land, the rivals went to Bangla Bhai and told Fazlur Rahman was a Shorbohara leader. Famous torture-expert cadres of Bangla Bhai took forcibly Fazlu to the Hamirkutsha Torture Camp. It happened on 20 April 2004. Around 11, the wife of Fazlu Josna Banu (38) was going to the local Health Centre with daughter and mother-in-law. In this time, Afzal, Akram, Amjad Nazrul Islam Nozu, Sharifuddin, Kamran, Abdul Jalil, Saiful Islam, Siddikur Rahman, Manju and other 20/25 Militant cadres took Fazlu to Bangla Bhai. On 19th April, the cadres attacked his house, robbed and messed up.
Awami League supporter Fazlur Rahman said, ‚ on the night around 9-00 a.m. Bangla Bhai demanded from me 2 lacs of Taka as ransom. He said; if you want to live, pay. I said, I have no capacity to pay. If I am a criminal, please try me. I was beaten on shoulder with a Hockey stick. I fell on the ground. I was tied in hands and feet and hanged up. Other than Bangla Bhai, another 10/12 cadres beat me with Hockey stick, Iron rod, Bambo-baton indiscriminately. My hands and feet were broken.’ On 23 April as plaintiff lodged a case in Baghmara Thana (case no. – 22 dated 23/04/04) against the Militants. Police made Charge sheet only in the names of Sharif and Nazrul, omitting others. Against this Charge sheet, in the first class Magistrate’s court a ‚not-agree’ application was submitted. Court has granted it. Fazlu complained that the defendants are threatening regularly to withdraw the case. Otherwise with all family members, he will be killed. Later in a newly filed case, Minister Aminul Hoq, BNP leader Shish Muhammad and some other Militants were sentences. Fazlur Rahman informed that because of handicap, he could not do any work. He was to maintain his family with the help of others. But how long? Before Fazlur Rahman, there is only darkness.

Sheikh Farid, is a retired Corporal of the Army. His father late Sk. Nasiruddin was a freedom fighter and an active leader of Awami League. He was elected as UP member and Chairman of Bonpara Union. He was very popular. Before the day of occurrence, for few days from local mosque’s mike, all Shorobohara members had been asked to surrender within next 26 April 2004 at the ground of Bhabanipur School unconditionally. Sk Touhidul Karim (46), elder brother of Sk. Farid informed that his brother was never related to Shorbohara. His neighbours, enemies in disguise of friends took him to the School ground with the tricks that they altogether would observe the surrenders. But Farid received one call in his Mobile. JMB leaders beat him with Hockey stick and Iron rod. About 15 minutes they continued the torture. Villagers took him to the Atrai Health Centre. From there he was taken to the Rajshahi Hospital. On the 1 May 2004 he died there. After talking with Sk Farid Family and local persons, it is known that Farid was the victim of political conspiracy of local BNP and Jamat leaders and workers. They were all members of Shorbohara in the past.They are now under the leadership of Bangla Bhai, members of JMB. To keep clean the ways of the BNP-Jamat leadership for the next 9th Parliament election, they had removed the thorn, Sk. Farid with the help of Bangla Bhai. The cousin of Sk. Farid, Headmaster of Bhonpara High School, Sk. Sirajul Islam said that the Jamat-supporters, through bribery, had arranged his killings by the Bangla Bhai cadres. Family members knew the names who had killed him in broad day light through heinous tortures. But nobody wanted to utter out of fear. The future of 16 year old son Al-Amin and 13 year daughter Farzana of killed Sk. Farid is now before an uncertain destruction.

No progress in case enquiry, the commander of the torture camp has not been arrested: Most of the local comanders of torture camps of Bangla Bhai are not still arrested. No progess is on the torture, murder and kidnap cases. Plaintiff of the most cases are Police. The oppressed family members had no courage go to the Police and file cases. The Rajshahi Range Police, Rajshahi and Naogaon District Police or the officer’s in-charges of Baghmara, Atrai and Raninagor could not inform about the latest progress of the enquiries. In many killing cases, the police have filed cases against the victims! In Hamirkutsha village of Baghmara, the first torture camp of Bangla Bhai was founded. It was in the house of infamous Rajakar Ramjan Kaya. Through this camp the torture-programme was started. The Court of Bangla Bhai was in the Camp. As per the judgments, convicted were tortured. Some were killed, others were made handicaps, hands and feet of some were fractured. Most of the victims were hanged in the tree or by the ceilings of room and then flogged. Bangla Bhai lived in this camp and supervised all the activities. After few days in village Atgram (Atrai) another Torture Camp was established by the side of the police station. Hemayet Hossain Himu and Nazrul Islam were the directors of this Camp. It was in the house of Abdus Salam, brother of Bangla Bhai. The third Cam was in Gulia Gram (Atrai) by the side of Jagodish High School. Commander was the Ex Chatrashibir leader and teacher of the School, Abul Hossain.
From the published information, it is learnt that now Abul Hossain is the General Secretary of the Atrai Upozilla Zia Council. By the side of the Police outpost in Borogacha (Raninagar) in Bashbaria village at the house of Khabir Refugee, the commander of the Torture Camp was Ex Nakshal leader Habibur Rahman Hobi and local BNP leader Montu Daktar. The 5th Camp was in Jamgram (Atrai). The 6th was in Raninagar Bhiti Madrasha ground. Later on this Camp was used as the Bangla Bhai and his cadres’ Headquarter. Shayokh Abdur Rahman was personally present here and supervised the trials and tortures here. In Rajshahi and Natore, there were 9 Camps. For the security of the camps, Police was responsible. Recently Ramjan Kaya has been arrested on the charges of kidnapping.

What Bangla Bhai said: Bangla Bhai said during his operation, ‚to suppress the Shorbohara, ‚I am in the movement with the common people. Till Shorbohara is totally vanished, our operations will go on. JMB members are not torturing anybody. Shorboharas are the victims of ‚peoples-anger! We rescue from the furious people and then handover to the police. Land state Minister Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, SP Masud Mia, many other big political leaders of Rajshahi and Police Officers are very happy with our activities.’ On the 3rd May 2004, while Bangla Bhai gave a Press Conference for some Journalists in a house at RamRama village, Hamirkutsha Union (Bagmara), SP Masud mia arranged his protection. On the 9th May 2004, in Bagmara, Rajshahi, Bangla Bhai introduced Shayokh Abdur Rahman as his spiritual Guru. The victims of this area know that before the hangings to deaths, Bangla Bhai and Shayokh Abdur Rahman wanted to talk with Media. But the Army controlled, angel like interim government did not allow it. Conscious people think, if they were presented to the Media before their deaths, including the identities of the background patrons, Godfathers of Militants and many other unknown facts would come out. The victims demand to the ‘democratic’ government of Sk. Hasina, the Godfathers and helpers of Bangla Bhai and Shayokh Abdur Rahman, the Ex Ministers, Ex Mayor, ex MPs, Police Officers, District Administration and local Militants must all be brought to book. At the same time, due compensations are to paid to the families of victims.
Jahangir Alam Akash
Editor
The Human Rights Today
jahangiralamakash@gmail.com

http://jaakash.wordpress.com/

http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bangladesh should abolish the death penalty

By Jahangir Alam Akash, Bangladesh is a country where there is no right to life. Rather, exercising the death penalty and extra judicial killings violates the right, which is common practice. Every year many peoples are handed the death penalty and many more die due to extra judicial killings. There are no statistics on the number of people killed since Bangladesh attained independence.

The death penalty is a kind of killing. Recently, five persons were handed the death penalty in a day. On Jan. 28, the decision was made by the Bangladesh Supreme Court to execute the self-declared killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding leader of Bangladesh. However, questions have risen on the execution procedure.

Here are some statistics on extra judicial killings in Bangladesh, specifically for human rights organization and bodies working on national and international levels, for human rights.

Extra judicial killings since 2004 have resulted in at least 1,600 deaths. Fifty-eight people were killed during “Operation Clean Heart” led by the army, in 2002. The mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles regiment in February 2009 resulted in the deaths of 74 people including 57 meritorious army officers.

According to the daily Bhorer Kagoj, after the mutiny at least 71 BDR mutineers died in police custody. It is alleged that most were tortured before death.

The death penalty is extremely inhuman, degrading and cruel. The constitution and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights prohibit it, but Bangladesh continues to exercise it.

According to the book “The death penalty,” most executions in 2008 were carried out in Asia. Eleven Asian nations – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Vietnam – still continue to practice the death penalty.

China alone accounted for at least 1,718 executions although the figure is believed to be much higher, as statistics on death sentences and executions are not publicly disclosed and are considered state secrets.

The Middle East and North Africa were second highest with 508 executions. In Iran, stoning and hanging are among the most cruel and inhumane methods used for carrying out death sentences and least 346 people have been executed including eight juvenile offenders. In Saudi Arabia, where beheadings in public is common practice, at least 102 people have been executed.

In the Americas, 37 executions were carried out in 2008, most in the state of Texas. The release of four men from death row in the United States on grounds of innocence brings the total to more than 120 released since 1975. The only other country in the Americas to carry out the death penalty in 2008 was St Kitts and Nevis, the first Caribbean state to carry out an execution since 2003.

According to Amnesty International, 93 percent of the world death penalty took place in China including other four countries.

DW-Bengali’s online section wrote on Feb. 25 that the European Union published a declaration on anti-death penalty. Europe is the first region, which there is no death penalty. The United States, China, Africa and some Asian countries contradicted a EU proposal on anti-death penalty presented to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva and the general assembly of the United Nations in 1998. However, in 2007, the proposal was finally passed by the U.N. general assembly.

Fifty-eight percent of people in China support the death penalty. That said 93 countries have already abolished the death penalty by making it law. Unfortunately, some 141 countries still practice the death penalty.

Historically, Italy has a strong background on the anti-death penalty movement. We must salute Italy as well as other EU states for their dedicated efforts to preserve the right to life and other human rights.

Bangladesh should obey the national and international treaties and human rights declarations and abolish the death penalty immediately, if they believe, even a bit, that life and rights are valuable.
jahangiralamakash@gmail.com
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/
http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd

Monday, March 1, 2010

More two killed by RAB

By Jahangir Alam Akash, More two people were killed in extra judicially by RAB at Keranigonj of Dhaka. On 28th February, 2010 early in the morning it was happened. The killed are Pappu (27) and Abdus Sattar (26). Source: the Editor, 28-2-2010.
With this killing, 155 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Extra judicial killings were started by RAB during BNP-Jammat government in 2004.
Previous more information’s on extra judicial killings. Please see and read it.
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/killings-by-government-continuing-in-bangladesh/
Another person was killed in extra judicially in Bangladesh. Today on 24th February, 2010 it happened by police at Pangsha of Rajbari. (Source: the daily Star, internet edition, 24-2-2010). The killed was identified as Ramzan Ali. With this killing, 153 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government.
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/is-rab-a-%e2%80%98god%e2%80%99-in-bangladesh/
The power of RAB is stronger than government. Is it true for Bangladesh? Or is RAB a ‘God’ in Bangladesh, whom couldn’t touch by anyone? Or the government himself wants to continue extra judicial killings? Many questions are rounding in our minds. Because, High Court orders, national and international voice against extra judicial killings, Constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights nowhere allowed killings and torturing. Even torturing is prohibited of the religion. In spite of they are doing this inhuman work continuously.
Today on 23rd February, 2010 another person was killed by RAB-police in extra judicially. The killed is Saidul Islam in Kushtia. Before this killing on 15 February, 2010 another was killed by RAB at Kafrul in Dhaka. The killed was identified as Parvez. Osman Goni was killed by RAB-police on 30 January of this year at Dakshin Rangamatia village in Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong. After passing the order against extra judicial killings by high court how could law enforcers killing one after another in extra judicially?
With these killing, 152 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Extra judicial killing have been going on by the violating of highest court ruling ordered. Not only have that by this killing the Bangladesh government is violating the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Actually there is (Bangladesh) no right to life.
The term “extrajudicial killing” means execution without justice. This is a grave human rights violation. It’s both a violation of Bangladesh’s constitution and of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But these types of killings still occur frequently in Bangladesh.The State Minister for Home Affairs and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh openly support the extrajudicial killings, despite the fact that Bangladesh signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against Torture. Not only that, the constitution of Bangladesh also safeguards the right to life.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 2004. According to Article 35(5) of the constitution of Bangladesh and 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 Article 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” But, in practice, Bangladesh does not ensure the right to life and has not complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitution of Bangladesh.
We can see that state institutions such as the judiciary, the rule of law, regulations, the constitution and the national assembly have been disabled. The media’s role regarding extrajudicial killings covered up under reports of “crossfire”, “gunfights” or “encounters” is negative and constrained. The media has only been publishing the normal reports about these encounters filed by the RAB or the police themselves.
A few human rights organizations have long been asking the government to stop the killings, terming them “extrajudicial”. Moreover, the High Court of Bangladesh, on June 29, 2009, asked the government to explain why killing people without a trial, in the form of extrajudicial killings, is not being declared as illegal, and why measures are not being taken against the perpetrators. After this ruling, we still haven’t seen anything happen.
Extrajudicial killings continue even in violation of the High Court’s ruling. How can they continue? It’s very alarming for human rights, democracy and the right to life. And why is the High Court silent regarding this gross human rights violation?
Both governmental and nongovernmental sources have said that the death toll has reached 152 from such extrajudicial killings – labeled as “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police – since January 6, 2009 (from January 6, 2009 to 23 February, 2010) when the Awami League-led government assumed office. In Bangladesh, we have a so-called democracy, but there is no rule of law. Every day sees more killings of citizens by the state machinery, killings which are both well-planned and covered up.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day after day since 2002 (including operation clean heart).
In 2004, the BNP-Jamaat government made a decision about extrajudicial killings and formed the RAB. From March 26, 2004 until January 31, 2009, around 1,600 people (including 58 killed peoples in operation clean heart of 2002) have been killed without justice.
The government of Bangladesh has sided with the extrajudicial killings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also said, in an indirect way, that extrajudicial killings will continue. She spoke clearly, upholding “crossfire” killings. What was said by our popular Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New York is very unfortunate for the rule of law, democracy, the constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the people of Bangladesh.
According to the Bdnews24.com, Sheikh Hasina talked with journalists in New York on Sept. 27, 2009. Referring to “crossfire” killings at the time, she said, “I do not believe in extrajudicial killings. But if anyone launches an armed attack (against a law enforcer), then they shouldn’t be allowed to kill them like sitting ducks.”
Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion continues to engage in extrajudicial killings despite Supreme Court directives to halt it. Although the court is handling the issue of extrajudicial killings, RAB does not seem to be bothered either about the judiciary or the country’s laws.
At least 16 people were killed in RAB-police’s custody since the court issued a suo moto order on Nov. 17, last year asking the government for an explanation into such types of killings.
The High Court on Dec. 14, last year expressed grave concern over the recurring extrajudicial killings even as 11 people were killed in custody since the issuance of a suo moto order on Nov. 17, asking the government for an explanation on the matter.
During the court hearing, the Attorney General was asked to convey the court’s concern to the director general of RAB. The High Court also asked the Attorney General to take initiatives so that no such killings took place till the next hearing scheduled for January 9. In addition, the HC also asked the state’s top law officer for the names of RAB officials of Madaripur that were involved in detaining two brothers Lutfor and Khairul Khalasi who were killed on November 16.
But, after January 9, 2010 what happened by high court we couldn’t know. We haven’t seen any news in the media of Bangladesh on this matter. Our question is that, why the judiciary department and national human rights commission blind on this human rights violation issues?
When the present ruling Awami League party was in opposition, they often raised their voices against extrajudicial killings. Not only that, during the last general election, which brought them to power, they often said that extrajudicial killings should be stopped. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also told the international community that her government did not support extrajudicial killings. Indeed, the government’s attitude, work and words on this issue of crossfire are unfortunately inappropriate.
The assertions of responsible people in the present government are shocking. Home minister Sahara Khatun recently said that, there was no crossfire. It seems, either directly or indirectly, the home minister and other minister’s are defending the perpetrators of such “crossfire” killings. Finally we can say that, in Bangladesh has no rule of law.
We want to say that the reports of so-called “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings that are made by the RAB and the police are totally false. We believe that terrorism should never be combated or controlled through state killings. It is the establishment of the rule of law that is essential to control terrorism.Without the democratic practice, rule of law and good governance how could we say that Bangladesh is a civilized country?
jahangiralamakash@gmail.com
http://youtube.com/user/jaakashbd
http://jaakash.wordpress.com/

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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