Thursday, May 28, 2009

FACT FINDING REPORT: Human Rights Defender & Lawyer Mr. Shahanur Islam in Bangladesh Again Received Threat

Date: May 28, 2009

Fact Finding Case: BIHR-HRD-04-09

Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights has been received a fact finding report conducted by the fact finding team of BIHR from May 25-27, 2009 regarding to intimidation of Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Officer of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka district by the member of RAB-8, during filing case against the RAB personnel on charging murder by torturing during emergency period with the Chief Judicial magistrate Court in Shariyatpur district. According to the information received, there was no action taken by the police authorities.

BIOGRAPHIN INFORMATION:

Name of the Victim :Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Officer of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council ( Membership # 12766) and Bar Association in Dhaka District (Membership # 11177).

During the time of his duties, he moved many cases against the perpetrators as a lawyer and some of them have been punished. He also conducted many investigations and fact-finding missions on human rights violations as well as issued local and international urgent appeals requesting attention to concerned authorities.

Name of the Perpetrators: Mr. Anis, Member of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-8, Madaripur, Bangladesh and other unknown 7 to 8 RAB Members.

Date of Incident : May 24-26, 2009

Place of Intimidation : In front of Court Chief judicial magistrate Court Ground, in Shariyatpur District.( During Filing Case Against the RAB Personnel on Charging Murder by Torturing).

FACT DETAILS:

On 24 May 2009 at evening Mr. Shahanur Islam went to Shariyatpur district to file a case against 16 accuseds including 7 members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-08, Madaripur Zone, charging on murder by torturing during the time of emergency under section 302, 109, 34 and 506 of Penal Code with the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Shariyapur district by one Ret’d Army men Mr. Abdur Rahman Khan, father of the dead person (victim) Mr. Afjal Hossin with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), under its legal and humanitarian activities to promote and protect human rights with the vision of making a torture and extra judicial execution free Bangladesh. One of the accused Mr. Quayser Ahmed is an acting Assistant Superintend of Police (ASP) level official of RAB. When Mr. was staying at Shariyatpur town, some of the law enforcing agencies men clothing civil dress was following him continuously.

On 25 May 2009, around at 11.00 am, submitting the complaint with the court, when Mr. Islam was waiting to meet with pressmen as well as allegation accepting hearing against the RAB, one of the accused RAB member Mr. Anis clothing civil dress came before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court ground, Shariyatpur and tried to influence Mr. Islam to withdraw the complaint and also intimidated and pressurized him.

After completing the hearing the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Shariyatpur took the case as cognizance and ordered the Officer in Charge (OC) of Palang Police station to file the allegation as First Information report (FIR) ( you are requested to visit the links to know about the case: http://www.prothom-alo.com/mcat.news.details.php?nid=MTU3MzY0&mid=NQ==, http://jugantor.com/enews/issue/2009/05/26/news0339.php, http://www.jaijaidin.com/details.php?nid=132603 )

[It is the historical event in Bangladesh because it is the first case in Bangladesh that has been filed against the RAB by a civil person on charging murdered by torture and ordered to the OC of Concerned police station to file the allegation against RAB as FIR (EJAHAR) is also first in Bangladesh] , around at 1.30 pm on the day when Mr. Islam came out from the court building, Mr. Anis, member of RAB tried to create obstacle on the way of Islam and again intimidated him. He gave threats to Mr. Islam to withdraw the case otherwise he should pay more for it and no one can safe him from facing more suffering if Mr. Islam tried to go ahead regarding this case. Then Mr. Anis went back.

Around at 6.00 pm Mr. Anis along with other 7 to 8 RAB personnel from RAB-8, Matheripur, clothing civil dress by a pickup van came to the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court ground and looked for Mr. Islam. They asked some of the local people about the staying location of Mr. Islam. They also went to the Reporters Unity office of Shariyatpur district and looked for Mr. Islam and also asked some of the journalist about Mr. Islam. On May 26, 2009, around at 11. A.m. the RAB team led by Mr. Anis again went the Court ground and Reporters Unity Office look for Mr. Islam as well as asked the local people and journalist to inform about him. They also tried to influence the local people and journalist to inform about Mr. Islam.

Mr. Shahanur Islam is apprehending that any time the RAB Men can arrest him and implicated with false and concocted allegation as well as torture him brutally. He also apprehending that they can kidnap him by themselves or third party. Here specially mentioned that one of the accused person Quaiyum Ahmed (Accused number -01), is now discharging his duty at Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) as an Assistance Police commissioner.

BACKGROUND:

Mr. Islam has had his life threatened on previous occasions. On April 13, 2009 Mr. Shahanur Islam was intimidated by a filed officer of (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), named Owali Ullah, while he was waiting for speaking with Media men after filing a petition case on charging attempt to murder by torturing with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) Dhaka against three men including a Major of Army named Sarwar of 17, East Bengle Regiment, Dhaka by the prominent manpower businessman Md. Samsuddin Ahmed with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and the case was moved before the court by Adv. Shahanur Islam, Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights of BIHR

After filing the case when Mr. Shahanur Islam came out from the CMM court, an officer of law enforcing agencies with plain cloth followed him until Mr. Islam was reached in front the office room of Court Reporters Unity, Judge Court, Dhaka, where the plain clothing unknown person asked him about the case that was filed against the Army Major. When Mr. Islam asked him to disclose his identity, he introduced himself as Mr. Owalur Rahman, a Field Officer (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI). Then DGFI officer interrogated him regarding the case. During interrogation, he asked Mr. Islam “why he moved the case on behalf the complainant? How he was connected with the case? What is the relation between the complainant and Mr. Islam? What is the interested of Mr. Islam in this case? How was he being confirmed about the identity of alleged Army Officer? Whether Mr.Islam has legal authority to file the case against the Army Officer? How long he was connected with the organization? Who is the chief of the organization etc? Mr. Islam replied every query in simply language with cordially. But the DGFI personnel alarmed him that he would intervene the matter, if he found the incident is false, he would take step against both of the complainant and Mr. Islam. He also collected a copy of complaint and intimidated Mr. Islam not to give any statement to the media or others regarding the case due to case was filed against the Army Major.

The news of filing case against three men including an Army Major by the businessman in Dhaka was covered with significant by most of the electronic and print media in Bangladesh including BBC world, Channel-I, Digonto TV, the Daily Star, New Nation, New Age, Independent, Jugantor, Jono Kontho, Korotoa with the statement of Mr. Islam on April 13 and 14 of 2009.Please visit the following links to know the case:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=84105, http://www.karatoa.net/detailsnews.php?headlineID=6997&pageTitle=HeadlineDetails&editionID=287&ref=index.php, http://www.amadershomoy.com/content/2009/04/14/news0352.htm, http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=122265, http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=81372&cid=2&aoth=1

On April 14, 2009, an unknown phone call has come to Mr. Islam’s cell phone Number 01720308080 from Cell Phone Number 01814653119. Receiving the call while Mr. Islam asked his identity, the caller introduced him as Mr. Owali Ullah, Field officer of DGFI and also told that he was met with Mr. Islam following day. Then he told with shouting to Mr. Islam that why he did not follow his prohibition regarding to give statement to the media? He again told with angry that he did not reach Major Sarwar at 17, East Bengle Regiment and ordered Mr. Islam to find out the alleged Major Sarwar, otherwise he would face more suffering. He also used rough language at that time.

Please visit the following links to know more about the case:

http://www.ghrd.org/pagina.asp?ID=3489, http://bihr-bihr.blogspot.com/2009/04/fact-finding-report-prominent-human.html

On March 18, 2009 around at 11.15 a.m. when Mr. Shahanur Islam Saikot was working at Bangladesh Institution Human Rights at 27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, he received a call from a person; the cell phone number was displayed as 01937690054. Mr. Islam asked the caller to identify himself. The caller did so only as Billu and starting to verbally abuse him. In response Mr. Islam inquired as to the reason of the call and the purpose of the vulgar language. Billu replied by threatening to kill Mr. Islam

On March 19, 2009 Mr. Shahanur again received call from the same phone Number. Once again the caller identified himself as Billu and begun to verbally abuse him and threatened him to kill immediately. He also warned him to take mental preparation about his death.

The phone call deeply disturbed and frightened Mr. Islam who in response immediately filed a General Diary at the Peltan Police Station of DMP (Paltan Police Station G. D. No-1409; Dated: 19.03.2009). In it he made a statement about the two threats he received over the phone.

You are requested to visit the following links to know more about case previous fact finding report: http://bihr-bihr.blogspot.com/2009/03/fact-finding-report-prominent-human.html

On February 28th, 2009 at 11.28 a.m., while Mr. Shahanur Islam Saikot was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, (BIHR) he received a phone call. Mr. Islam asked the caller to identify himself. The caller did so only as Pintu and starting to verbally abuse him. In response Mr. Islam inquired as to the reason of the call and the purpose of the vulgar language. Pintu replied by threatening to murder Mr. Islam by way of a gun shot to the head. Mr. Islam received a second phone call at 11.32 a.m. Once again the caller identified himself at Pintu and begun to verbally abuse him. This time, the caller stated that not only does he intend to murder him, but that he intends to do so that same day. The phone conversation ended with Pintu advising Mr. Islam to mentally prepare for his impending death.

The phone call deeply disturbed and frightened Mr. Islam who in response immediately filed a General Diary at the Peltan Police Station of DMP (No-2281). In it he made a statement about the two threats he received over the phone.

On March 01st, 2009 at 9.52 a.m., Pintu called Mr. Islam again and restated his threat to murder, this time claiming he would do so immediately.

You are requested to visit the following links to know more about case previous fact finding report: http://bihr-bihr.blogspot.com/2009/03/fact-finding-reporta-prominent-human_7556.html

On August 29th, 2008 at 10.17 p.m. he was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights office, when an unidentified person called him. The caller demanded to know Mr. Islam’s identity and location. For personal security reasons Mr. Islam declined answering the caller’s inquiries and instead demanded the same information from the caller. This angered the caller who replied by stating that he could not disclose his identity at the moment. He did, however, state that he is a higher authority of law enforcing agencies. The caller further said that he would disclose his identity and punish Mr. Islam at the earliest possible time. Following these statements, the caller continued on by stating that he knows who Mr. Islam is but does not know his residential address. He further threatened Mr. Islam by claiming that he would come to his home and subject him to punishment. The caller ended the conversation by stating that Mr. Islam would be facing more suffering soon. Following the incident Mr. Islam filed General Diary at the Paltan Police Station in DMP that No-2014.

Please visit the following links to know more about the case:

http://www.omct.org/index.php/pdf/ESCR/pdf/OMCT_Europe/2008/public_html/demo/index.php?id=&lang=eng&actualPageNumber=1&articleSet=Appeal&articleId=8446&PHPSESSID=2d76c0b15684004c53f09f4aae0ada39

http://www.ghrd.org/Pagina.asp?ID=3420, http://bihr-bihr.blogspot.com/2008/09/v-behaviorurldefaultvml-o.html

On 06 February 2008, while he was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights office. An unidentified person called him and When Mr. Islam demanded to disclose his identity, he identified him as a higher official of a medicine company and ordered him to come at Nayatola, Dhaka to meet with him. But when Mr. Islam refused to do that the caller demeaned to know his present location. But due to his personal security when Mr. Islam refused to disclosed his location, the caller threatened to kill him using foul language. He said that where Mr. Islam will live; he will find out him and finished him from the world asap. When Mr. Islam asked him about this type of behavior he replied that Mr. Islam had caught some adultery medicine with him and handed over him to the concerned police station. Now he released from the jail and wanted to punish Mr. Islam. He also said that he would file case against Mr. Islam to sentence him jail and if he can not do that he will finished him from the world by kill him. Following the incident Mr. Islam filed General Diary at the Paltan Police Station in DMP that No-493.

You are requested to visit the following links to know more about case previous fact finding report: http://bihr-bihr.blogspot.com/2009/07/fact-finding-reporthuman-rights.html

BIHR FINDINGS:

This is not any isolated instance of such threats on journalists or human rights defenders in Bangladesh. It is a very common phenomenon for the professionals like journalists and human rights defenders of Bangladesh facing death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces. It is well-known that Bangladesh has cultivated one of the best cultures of impunity to alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses despite the nation’s presence in the UN Human Rights Council since May 2006. Instead of improving the country’s human rights records the government of Bangladesh has paved the ways to degrade the rights of the citizens through various means of violations.

RECOMENDATION:

Ø take all necessary measures to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Shahanur Islam;

Ø order a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned death threats, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;

Ø put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Shahanur Islam as well as against all human rights defenders in Bangladesh;

Ø ccomply with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

Ø guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by Bangladesh.

Thank You

Adv. Nazmul H. S. Chowdhury

Executive Director

Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)

27, Bijoy Nagar, B-17, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh

Email: bihr@bangla.net,www.bihr-bihr.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

REPORT: Human Rights Defender & Lawyer Mr. Shahanur Islam Once Again Received Threat from RAB-8 During Filing Case Against the RAB Men in Bangladesh.

Human Rights Defender & Lawyer Mr. Shahanur Islam Once Again Received Threat from RAB-8 During Filing Case Against the RAB Personnel in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights has been received a report reliable source regarding to intimidation of Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Officer of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka district by the member of RAB-8, during filing case against the RAB personnel on charging murder by torturing during emergency period with the Chief Judicial magistrate Court in Shariyatpur district. According to the information received, there was no action taken by the police authorities. BIOGRAPHY: Name of the Victim :Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Officer of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council ( Membership # 12766) and Bar Association in Dhaka District (Membership # 11177). During the time of his duties, he moved many cases against the perpetrators as a lawyer and some of them have been punished. He also conducted many investigations and fact-finding missions on human rights violations as well as issued local and international urgent appeals requesting attention to concerned authorities. Name of the Perpetrators: Mr. Anis, Member of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-8, Madaripur, Bangladesh and other unknown 7 to 8 RAB Members. Date of Incident : May 24-26, 2009 Place of Intimidation : In front of Court Chief judicial magistrate Court Ground, in Shariyatpur District.( During Filing Case Against the RAB Personnel on Charging Murder by Torturing). FACT DETAILS: On 24 May 2009 Mr. Shahanur Islam at evening went to Shariyatpur district to file a case against 16 accuseds including 7 members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-08, Madaripur Zone, charging on murder by torturing during the time of emergency under section 302, 109, 34 and 506 of Penal Code with the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Shariyapur district by one Ret’d Army men Mr. Abdur Rahman Khan, father of the dead person (victim) Mr. Afjal Hossin with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), under its legal and humanitarian activities to promote and protect human rights with the vision of making a torture and extra judicial execution free Bangladesh. One of the accused Mr. Quayser Ahmed is an acting Assistant Superintend of Police (ASP) level official of RAB. When Mr. was staying at Shariyatpur town, some of the law enforcing agencies men clothing civil dress was following him continuously. On 25 May 2009, around at 11.00 am, submitting the complaint with the court, when Mr. Islam was waiting to meet with pressmen as well as allegation accepting hearing against the RAB, one of the accused RAB member Mr. Anis clothing civil dress came before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court ground, Shariyatpur and tried to influence Mr. Islam to withdraw the complaint and also intimidated and pressurized him. After completing the hearing the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Shariyatpur took the case as cognizance and ordered the Officer in Charge (OC) of Palang Police station to file the allegation as First Information report (FIR) ( you are requested to visit the links to know about the case: http://www.prothom-alo.com/mcat.news.details.php?nid=MTU3MzY0&mid=NQ==, http://jugantor.com/enews/issue/2009/05/26/news0339.php, http://www.jaijaidin.com/details.php?nid=132603 ) [It is the historical event in Bangladesh because it is the first case in Bangladesh that has been filed against the RAB by a civil person on charging murdered by torture and ordered to the OC of Concerned police station to file the allegation against RAB as FIR (EJAHAR) is also first in Bangladesh] , around at 1.30 pm on the day when Mr. Islam came out from the court building, Mr. Anis, member of RAB tried to create obstacle on the way of Islam and again intimidated him. He gave threats to Mr. Islam to withdraw the case otherwise he should pay more for it and no one can safe him from facing more suffering if Mr. Islam tried to go ahead regarding this case. Then Mr. Anis went back. Around at 6.00 pm Mr. Anis along with other 7 to 8 RAB personnel from RAB-8, Matheripur, clothing civil dress by a pickup van came to the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court ground and looked for Mr. Islam. They asked some of the local people about the staying location of Mr. Islam. They also went to the Reporters Unity office of Shariyatpur district and looked for Mr. Islam and also asked some of the journalist about Mr. Islam. On May 26, 2009, around at 11. A.m. the RAB team led by Mr. Anis again went the Court ground and Reporters Unity Office look for Mr. Islam as well as asked the local people and journalist to inform about him. They also tried to influence the local people and journalist to inform about Mr. Islam. Mr. Shahanur Islam is apprehending that any time the RAB Men can arrest him and implicated with false and concocted allegation as well as torture him brutally. He also apprehending that they can kidnap him by themselves or third party. Here specially mentioned that one of the accused person Quaiyum Ahmed (Accused number -01), is now discharging his duty at Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) as an Assistance Police commissioner. Mr. Islam has had his life threatened on previous occasions. You are requested to visit the following links to know details: http://bangladeshinstituteofhumanrights.blogspot.com/2009/05/urgent-appealensure-security-of-human.html http://www.ghrd.org/pagina.asp?ID=3489 http://www.omct.org/index.php/pdf/ESCR/pdf/OMCT_Europe/2008/public_html/demo/index.php?id=&lang=eng&actualPageNumber=1&articleSet=Appeal&articleId=8446&PHPSESSID=2d76c0b15684004c53f09f4aae0ada39 http://www.ghrd.org/Pagina.asp?ID=3420 ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is not any isolated instance of such threats on journalists or human rights defenders in Bangladesh. It is a very common phenomenon for the professionals like journalists and human rights defenders of Bangladesh facing death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces. It is well-known that Bangladesh has cultivated one of the best cultures of impunity to alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses despite the nation’s presence in the UN Human Rights Council since May 2006. Instead of improving the country’s human rights records the government of Bangladesh has paved the ways to degrade the rights of the citizens through various means of violations. SUGESTED ACTION: Please write letters to the relevant authorities to take immediate measures to ensure personal security of the victims as well as other human rights activists. Particularly, in order to deter further harassment to Mr. Shahanur, the police should probe the incident of intimidation mentioned above and conduct effective investigation over the case. The perpetrator(s) must be punished in accordance to law. In addition, the police should offer protection to the victim to ensure his personal security before the case is resolved. Thank You Legal & Human Rights Desk Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) 27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh Email: saikotbihr@gmail.com, bihr@bangla.net www.bangladeshinstituteofhumanrights.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NEWS: A Case, Charging on Murder by Torturing was Filed against 16 Men including 7 Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)

A petition case was filed against 16 men including 7 members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-08, Madaripur Zone, charging on murder by torturing during the time of emergency under section 302, 109, 34 and 506 of Penal Code with the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Shariyapur district by one Ret’d Army Men Mr. Abdur Rahman Khan, father of the dead person (victim) Mr. Afjal Hossin today on May 25, 2009 with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), under its legal and humanitarian activities to promote and protect human rights with the vision of making a torture and extra judicial execution free Bangladesh. One of the accused is an Assistant Superintend of Police (ASP) level official of RAB. The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Shariyatpur district Mr. Askok Kumar Dutto took the statement of the complainant and ordered the officer in Charge of Palang Police station to take the allegation as FIR (First information Report) (EJAHAR). According to complaint, on 18 March 2008 around at 5.00 pm when Mr. Afjal Hossain (presently killed person & victim of this case) was staying at Mahmudpur Bazar under Palong Police station in Shariyatpur distric, four members of RAB arrested and beaten him mercilessly with bat of the pistol, baton, iron road, kicking with boot in front of mass people insisting by some local conspirators. Thereafter, he was taken at nearby Binodpur Charer Kandi BM Ideal College field fastening his both hands and legs with rope. Then he was again brutally tortured by the RAB members including Mr. Kauser Ahmed, Assistant Police Super (ASP) who was on duty of RAB-8, Madaripur at that time. Later, he was taken to the Shariyatpur police line field where he was further tortured by them. At Shariyatpur police line field, they cut his both of the legs vein according to the instruction of ASP Kauser and Mr. Abid Hossen, who was a Sub Inspector (SI) of Palang Police Station. SI Abir Hossian also put an iron rod in to the throat of the victim and made him senseless. One time when the confirmed regarding the death of the victim, they admitted him at Shariyatpur General Hospital to save them as usually they do. When the victim’s physical condition was deteriorated, the authority of Shariyatpur General Hospital referred him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), but the authority of Shariyatpur police station failed to admit him at DMCH. After getting information about the deteriorated condition of the victim, his father came to hospital and admitted him at DMCH with the cordon of police on 19 March, 2009 around at 8.30. But his son Mr. Afzal fell in death on March 20, 2009 around at 1.15 pm. It is also mentioned that when the father of the victim declared to file case, the alleged perpetrators trying to influence victim’s father not to file the case as well as compromise the matter by offering some token money to him. But when he refused their offer, they threaten him to kill as like as his son. Mr. Abdur Rahaman Khan, father of the victim was also bound to live out side of his permanent living area due to frightening of receive continuous life threat from the alleged perpetrators for a long time. Further, it mentioned that he tried to file the case more time previously, but no civil society had been stand beside him, even no lawyer of Shariyatpur district Bar Association had been agreed to move the case on behalf of him due to frightening by the RAB. Though one lawyer had been, but he demanded big amount of money as his fees. As the poverty of Mr. Abdur Rahman could not pay his demanded high amount, the lawyer did not agree to move the case. At last, Mr. Rahman filed the case against the alleged perpetrators with the legal and financial assistance of the well-known human rights organization Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) which is located at 27, Bijoy Nagar in Dhaka today on May 25, 2009. As BIHR also failed to manage power on the Vokalat Nama by the local lawyer of Shariyatpur district bar association, Mr. Rahman filed the case without any lawyer. Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot, Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) assisted him to file and move the case. Please visit the links: http://www.prothom-alo.com/mcat.news.details.php?nid=MTU3MzY0&mid=NQ== http://jugantor.com/enews/issue/2009/05/26/news0339.php http://www.jaijaidin.com/details.php?nid=132603

Saturday, May 23, 2009

PRESS RELEASE:Press Release A case charging on murder by torturing during emergency period is going to be file against seven members of elite force

A case charging on murder by torturing during emergency period is going to be file against seven members of elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), including an Assistant Superintend of Police (ASP) with the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Shariyatpur on May 25, 2009. A petition case is going to be file against the seven members of elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-8, Madaripur, including an Assistant Superintend of Police (ASP) charging on murder by torturing during the time of emergency under section 302, 109, 34 and 506 of Penal Code with the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Shariyapur district by one Ret’d Army Men Mr. Abdur Rahman Khan, father of the dead person (victim) Mr. Afjal Hossin on May 25, 2009 with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), under its legal and humanitarian activities to promote and protect human rights with the vision of making a torture and extra judicial execution free Bangladesh. According to information received, on 18 March 2008 around at 5.00 pm when Mr. Afjal Hossain (presently killed person & victim of this case) was staying at Mahmudpur Bazar under Palong Police station in Shariyatpur distric, four members of RAB arrested and beaten him mercilessly with bat of the pistol, baton, iron road, kicking with boot in front of mass people insisting by some local conspirators. Thereafter, he was taken at nearby Binodpur Charer Kandi BM Ideal College field fastening his both hands and legs with rope. Then he was again brutally tortured by the RAB members including Mr. Kauser Ahmed, Assistant Police Super (ASP) who was on duty of RAB-8, Madaripur at that time. Later, he was taken to the Shariyatpur police line field where he was further tortured by them. At Shariyatpur police line field, they cut his both of the legs vein according to the instruction of ASP Kauser and Mr. Abid Hossen, who was a Sub Inspector (SI) of Palang Police Station. SI Abir Hossian also put an iron rod in to the throat of the victim and made him senseless. One time when the confirmed regarding the death of the victim, they admitted him at Shariyatpur General Hospital to save them as usually they do. When the victim’s physical condition was deteriorated, the authority of Shariyatpur General Hospital referred him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), but the authority of Shariyatpur police station failed to admit him at DMCH. After getting information about the deteriorated condition of the victim, his father came to hospital and admitted him at DMCH with the cordon of police on 19 March, 2009 around at 8.30. But his son Mr. Afzal fell in death on March 20, 2009 around at 1.15 pm. It is also mentioned that when the father of the victim declared to file case, the alleged perpetrators trying to influence victim’s father not to file the case as well as compromise the matter by offering some token money to him. But when he refused their offer, they threaten him to kill as like as his son. Mr. Abdur Rahaman Khan, father of the victim was also bound to live out side of his permanent living area due to frightening of receive continuous life threat from the alleged perpetrators for a long time. Further, it mentioned that he tried to file the case more time previously, but no civil society had been stand beside him, even no lawyer of Shariyatpur district Bar Association had been agreed to move the case on behalf of him due to frightening by the RAB. Though one lawyer had been, but he demanded big amount of money as his fees. As the poverty of Mr. Abdur Rahman could not pay his demanded high amount, the lawyer did not agree to move the case. At last, Mr. Rahman is going to file the case as a complainant against the alleged perpetrators with the legal and financial assistance of the well-known human rights organization Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) which is located at 27, Bijoy Nagar in Dhaka on May 25, 2009. The case will be moved by Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot, Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Adv. Mohammed Alamgir on behalf of the complainant Mr. Abdur Rahman.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

URGENT APPEAL (UPDATE): Bangladesh : Ensure the security of human rights defender; investigate cases and bring the culprits before justice

The Hague, 18 May 2009 URGENT APPEAL (UPDATE): Bangladesh : Ensure the security of human rights defender; investigate cases and bring the culprits before justice [UA-BA-2009.18.05] ISSUE: Human Rights Defender; Threats and Intimidation Dear Friends, GHRD (Global Human Rights Defence) has received updated information from the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) with regards to Shahanur Islam, a human rights defender who has been continuously intimidated and threatened. According to the information received, still no action has been taken by the police authorities. GHRD encourages you to read the past appeal at http://www.ghrd.org/Pagina.asp?ID=3420 GHRD urges your intervention by asking concerned authorities to ensure the protection of his life as well as conducting an impartial and credible investigation to bring the culprit before justice. CASE INFORMATION: Mr. Shahanur Islam is a well known and very active human rights defender in Bangladesh,as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka District. He was threatened and intimidated by the Filed Officer of (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), while he was waiting to speak with the media after filing a petition on the case regarding an attempt to charge for murder by torture with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM), Dhaka against three men including a high ranked official, a major in the army. According to the information received, there was no action taken by the police authorities. BIOGRAPHY: Name of the Victim : Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka District. During the time of his duties, he moved many cases against the perpetrators as a lawyer and some of them have been punished. He also conducted many investigations and fact-finding missions on human rights violations as well as issued local and international urgent appeals requesting attention to concerned authorities. Name of the alleged Perpetrators: Mr. Owali Ullah, Field Officer (Sub Inspector Level Official), Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI). Date of Incident : April 13 & 14, 2009 Place of Intimidation : In front of Court Reporters Unity Office, Judge Court, Dhaka & By cell Phone. FACT DETAILS: On April 13, 2009 Mr. Shahanur Islam was intimidated by a filed officer (a sub inspector level official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), named Owali Ullah, while he was waiting for speaking with Media men after filing a petition case on charging attempt to murder by torturing with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) Dhaka against three men including a Major of Army named Sarwar of 17, East Bengle Regiment, Dhaka by the prominent manpower businessman Md. Samsuddin Ahmed with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and the case was moved before the court by Adv. Shahanur Islam, Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights of BIHR After filing the case when Mr. Shahanur Islam came out from the CMM court, an officer of law enforcing agencies in civil clothes followed him to the office room of Court Reporters Unity, Judge Court, Dhaka. Here he asked him about the case that was filed against the army major. When Mr. Islam asked him to disclose his identity, he introduced himself as Mr. Owalur Rahman, a Field Officer (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI). The DGFI officer interrogated him regarding the case. During interrogation, he asked Mr. Islam “why did he move the case on behalf of the complainant? How he was connected with the case? What is the relation between the complainant and Mr. Islam? What is the interest of Mr. Islam in this case? How was he being confirmed about the identity of the alleged army officer? Whether Mr.Islam has legal authority to file the case against the army officer? How long he was connected with the organization? Who is the chief of the organization etc? Mr. Islam replied every query cordially and with simple language. But the DGFI personnel alarmed him that he would intervene in the matter, if he found the incident to be false; he would take steps against both the complainant and Mr. Islam. He also collected a copy of the complaint and intimidated Mr. Islam not to give any statement to the media or others regarding the case against the Army Major. The news of the case being filed against three men including an Army Major by the businessman in Dhaka was covered by most of the electronic and print media in Bangladesh including BBC world, Channel-I, Digonto TV, the Daily Star, New Nation, New Age, Independent, Jugantor, Jono Kontho, and Korotoa with the statement of Mr. Islam on April 13 and 14 of 2009. Please visit the following links for the news relating to this case: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=84105, http://www.karatoa.net/detailsnews.php?headlineID=6997&pageTitle=HeadlineDetails&editionID=287&ref=index.php, http://www.amadershomoy.com/content/2009/04/14/news0352.htm, http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=122265, http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=81372&cid=2&aoth=1 On April 14, 2009, Mr Islam received a call from a person who introduced himself as Mr. Owali Ullah, Field officer of DGFI. He claimed that he had met with Mr. Islam the day before. Then he shouted and started questioning why he did not followed his advice regarding the statement being given to the media? He again told with anger that he did not reach Major Sarwar at 17, East Bengle Regiment and ordered Mr. Islam to find the alleged Major Sarwar, otherwise he would ‘face more suffering’. He also used rough language at that time. BACKGROUND: Mr. Islam has had his life threatened on previous occasions. On August 29th, 2008 at 10.17 p.m. he was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights office, when an unidentified person called him. The caller demanded to know Mr. Islam’s identity and location. For personal security reasons Mr.Islam declined answering the caller’s inquiries and instead demanded the same information from the caller. This angered the caller who replied by stating that he could not disclose his identity at the moment. He did, however, state that he is a higher authority of law enforcing agencies. The caller further said that he would disclose his identity and punish Mr. Islam at the earliest possible time. Following these statements, the caller continued on by stating that he knows who Mr. Islam is but does not know his residential address. He further threatened Mr. Islam by claiming that he would come to his home and subject him to punishment. The caller ended the conversation by stating that Mr. Islam would be facing more suffering soon. Following the incident Mr. Islam filed General Diary at the Paltan Police Station in DMP (No-2014). On February 28th, 2009 at 11.28 a.m., while Mr. Shahanur Islam Saikot was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, (BIHR) he received a phone call. Mr. Islam asked the caller to identify himself. The caller did so only as Pintu and starting to verbally abuse him. In response Mr. Islam inquired as to the reason of the call and the purpose of the vulgar language. Pintu replied by threatening to murder Mr. Islam by way of a gun shot to the head. Mr. Islam received a second phone call at 11.32 a.m. Once again the caller identified himself at Pintu and begun to verbally abuse him. This time, the caller stated that not only does he intend to murder him, but that he intends to do so that same day. The phone conversation ended with Pintu advising Mr. Islam to mentally prepare for his impending death. The phone call deeply disturbed and frightened Mr. Islam who in response immediately filed a General Diary at the Peltan Police Station of DMP (No-2281). In it he made a statement about the two threats he received over the phone. On March 01st, 2009 at 9.52 a.m., Pintu called Mr. Islam again and restated his threat to murder, this time claiming he would do so immediately. On March 18, 2009, he received a call from a person who only introduced himself as Billu and then started to verbally abuse him. In response Mr. Islam inquired as to the reason of the call and the purpose of the vulgar language. Billu replied by threatening to kill Mr. Islam. On March 19, 2009 Mr. Islam again received call from the same phone number. Once again the caller identified himself as Billu and begun to verbally abuse him and threatened to kill him immediately. He also warned him to ‘prepare to die’. The phone call deeply disturbed and frightened Mr. Islam who in response immediately filed a General Diary at the Peltan Police Station of DMP (Paltan Police Station G. D. No-1409; Dated: 19.03.2009). In it he made a statement about the two threats he received over the phone. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is not any isolated instance of such threats on journalists or human rights defenders in Bangladesh. It is a very common phenomenon for the professionals like journalists and human rights defenders of Bangladesh facing death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces. It is well-known that Bangladesh has cultivated one of the best cultures of impunity to alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses despite the nation’s presence in the UN Human Rights Council since May 2006. Instead of improving the country’s human rights records the government of Bangladesh has paved the ways to degrade the rights of the citizens through various means of violations. SUGGESTED ACTION: In particular, we urge the authorities to: 1. Take all necessary measures to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Shahanur Islam; 2. Order a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned death threats, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law. 3. Express a serious commitment to bring an end to all acts of harassment against human rights defenders in Bangladesh. Consider the rights and provisions as proclaimed in inter alia the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders that was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998. Please write letters to the relevant authorities to take immediate measures to ensure personal security of the victims as well as other human rights activists. Particularly,in order to deter further harassment to Mr. Islam, the police should probe the incident of intimidation mentioned above and conduct effective investigation over the case. The perpetrator(s) must be punished in accordance to the law. In addition, the police should offer protection to the victim to ensure his personal security before the case is resolved. SAMPLE LETTER: Sub: Urge to Immediate Ensure the Security of Human Rights Defenders; Investigate Cases of Intimidations and Bring the Culprits before the Justice. Dear................ I am deeply concerned about the threats received by Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka District. According to the information received, on April 13, 2009 around at 12.30 pm Mr. Shahanur Islam was intimidated by a filed officer of (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), named Owali Ullah, while he was waiting to speak with media men after filing a case as a lawyer & Human Rights Defender with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) Dhaka against three men including a Major of Army on charging attempt to murder by torturing on April 13, 2009. The DGFI officer intimidated him not to speak with media men or others regarding this case. He also intimidated him stating that he was going to intervene the case, if he found the case as false; he would take step both of the complainant and Mr. Islam. On April 14, 2009, Mr. Islam again received threat from the same DGFI officer by Cell Phone due to why he was spoken with the media. The DGFI officer also ordered Mr. Islam to find out Major Sarwar, otherwise he will suffer more in future. Previously, Mr. Islam received death threats in several times due to his activity of promote and protect human rights in Bangladesh especially to erase torture perpetrated by the law enforcing agencies. On March 18, 2009, at 11.15 am, Mr. Shahanur Islam received a phone call while he was working at BIHR. The call came from a person who identified himself as “Billu” and who started to verbally abuse him. When Mr. Islam asked about the reason for such a call and rude language, “Billu” threatened to murder him. On March 19, 2009, Mr. Islam received a call from the same phone number and the caller, who once again identified himself as “Billu”, threatened him again and told him to “get mentally prepared for his death”. On the same day, Mr. Islam filed a complaint at the Peltan police station to report on the threats he had received. On February 28, 2009, at 11.30 am, Mr. Shahanur Islam had already received a phone call at BIHR. The call came from a person who identified himself as “Pintu” and who started to verbally abuse him. “Pintu” also threatened to murder Mr. Islam with a gunshot in the head. At 11.32 am, Mr. Islam received a second phone call from the same caller. On this occasion, “Pintu” once more threatened to kill him and told him to get mentally prepared for his death. Subsequently on February 28, 2009, in light of the aforementioned incidents, Mr. Islam filed a complaint at the Paltan police station, reporting on the threats he had received and calling for the immediate arrest of the alleged perpetrator. After filing this complaint, the officer in charge sent policemen at his office to ensure his protection.According to the information received, the police could not trace out the caller. On March 1, 2009, at 9.52 am, “Pintu” called again and threatened to murder Mr. Islam, saying he would come immediately to kill him. Mr. Islam also received death threats in 2008. For instance, on August 29, 2008, an unidentified person called him while he was working at BIHR, and asked for his identity and location. Since Mr. Islam did not reveal such information, the caller replied stating that he was a “higher authority of law enforcing agencies” and that he would come to his home and subject him to punishment. The caller ended the conversation stating that Mr. Islam would be facing more suffering soon. After the threats received by Mr. Islam in 2008 and 2009 and the complaints he lodged, the authorities launched several investigations to enquire about the nature of such incidents. However, as of issuing this urgent appeal, no progress had been made and the perpetrators had not been identified and brought to justice. Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your favorable response to this issue. Yours faithfully, ----------------------- ADDRESSES: Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Office of the Prime Minister, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 811 3244 / 3243 / 1015 / 1490, E-mail: pm@pmo.gov.bd or psecy@pmo.gov.bd Mr. Mohammad Ruhul Amin, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Supreme Court Building, Ramna, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 956 5058 Barrister Shafik Ahmed, Minister, Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-100, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 7168557 (O) Ms. Shahara Khatun, Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Fax: +88-02-7160405, 88-02-7164788 (O) Mr. Mahbube Alam, Attorney General of Bangladesh, Office of the Attorney General, Supreme Court Building, Ramna, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 956 1568 General Moeen U Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army, Army Headquarters,Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 875 4455, E-mail: itdte@army.mil.bd Mr. Nur Mohammad, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Bangladesh Police, Police Headquarters', Fulbaria, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh Fax: +880 2 956 3362 / 956 3363, E-mail: ig@police.gov.bd Mr. Hassan Mahmud Khandokar, Director General (DG), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), RAB Headquarter, Uttara, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 896 2884 (O), E-mail: dg_rab@rab.gov.bd Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Bangladesh in your respective countries. Thank You. Urgent Appeal Programme Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) 27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh Email: saikotbihr@gmail.com; bihr@bangla.net www.bangladeshinstituteofhumanrights.blogspot.com ------------------------------------------------------------- *GHRD is an International, non-governmental organisation which strives for the protection of basic human rights throughout the world, as well as encouraging international awareness towards disregarded human rights violations. Global Human Rights Defence Laan van Meerdervoort 70 2517 AN The Hague The Netherlands Phone: +31 70 345 69 75 Phone: +31 70 345 34 11 Fax: +31 70 392 65 75 Postal Address: P.O Box 193 2501 CD The Hague url: www.ghrd.org e-mail : urgentappeal@ghrd.org

Monday, May 18, 2009

URGENT APPEAL:Ensure the security of human rights defender; investigate cases of intimidations and bring the culprits before the justice.

BANGLADESH INSTITUTE OF HUAMAN RIGHTS URGENT APPEAL PROGRAMME URGENT APPEAL CASE: BIHR UA-2009-05-01 ISSUE: Human rights Defender; Threats and Intimidation ========================================== DATE: May 18, 2009 BANGLADESH: Ensure the security of human rights defender; investigate cases of intimidations and bring the culprits before the justice. ========================================== Dear Friends, Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights has been received a fact-finding report conducted by the high level team of BIHR regarding to intimidation of Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka District by the Filed Officer of (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), while he was waiting for speaking with Media men after filing a petition case on charging attempt to murder by torturing with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) Dhaka against three men including a Major of Army. According to the information received, there was no action taken by the police authorities. BIHR urges your intervention asking concerned authority to ensure the protection of his life as well as conduct impartial and credible investigation to bring the culprit before the justice. BIOGRAPHY: Name of the Victim : Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka District. During the time of his duties, he moved many cases against the perpetrators as a lawyer and some of them have been punished. He also conducted many investigations and fact-finding missions on human rights violations as well as issued local and international urgent appeals requesting attention to concerned authorities. Name of the Perpetrators: Mr. Owali Ullah, Field Officer (Sub Inspector Level Official), Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI). Date of Incident : April 13 & 14, 2009 Place of Intimidation : In front of Court Reporters Unity Office, Judge Court, Dhaka & By cell Phone. FACT DETAILS: On April 13, 2009 Mr. Shahanur Islam was intimidated by a filed officer of (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), named Owali Ullah, while he was waiting for speaking with Media men after filing a petition case on charging attempt to murder by torturing with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) Dhaka against three men including a Major of Army named Sarwar of 17, East Bengle Regiment, Dhaka by the prominent manpower businessman Md. Samsuddin Ahmed with the help of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and the case was moved before the court by Adv. Shahanur Islam, Programme Manager-Legal & Human Rights of BIHR After filing the case when Mr. Shahanur Islam came out from the CMM court, an officer of law enforcing agencies with plain cloth followed him until Mr. Islam was reached in front the office room of Court Reporters Unity, Judge Court, Dhaka, where the plain clothing unknown person asked him about the case that was filed against the Army Major. When Mr. Islam asked him to disclose his identity, he introduced himself as Mr. Owalur Rahman, a Field Officer (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI). Then DGFI officer interrogated him regarding the case. During interrogation, he asked Mr. Islam “why he moved the case on behalf the complainant? How he was connected with the case? What is the relation between the complainant and Mr. Islam? What is the interested of Mr. Islam in this case? How was he being confirmed about the identity of alleged Army Officer? Whether Mr.Islam has legal authority to file the case against the Army Officer? How long he was connected with the organization? Who is the chief of the organization etc? Mr. Islam replied every query in simply language with cordially. But the DGFI personnel alarmed him that he would intervene the matter, if he found the incident is false, he would take step against both of the complainant and Mr. Islam. He also collected a copy of complaint and intimidated Mr. Islam not to give any statement to the media or others regarding the case due to case was filed against the Army Major. The news of filing case against three men including an Army Major by the businessman in Dhaka was covered with significant by most of the electronic and print media in Bangladesh including BBC world, Channel-I, Digonto TV, the Daily Star, New Nation, New Age, Independent, Jugantor, Jono Kontho, Korotoa with the statment of Mr. Islam on April 13 and 14 of 2009. Please visit the following links: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=84105, http://www.karatoa.net/detailsnews.php?headlineID=6997&pageTitle=HeadlineDetails&editionID=287&ref=index.php,http:///www.amadershomoy.com/content/2009/04/14/news0352.htm, http://www.theindependent-bd.com/details.php?nid=122265, http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=81372&cid=2&aoth=1 On April 14, 2009, an unknown phone call has come to Mr. Islam’s cell phone Number 01720308080 from Cell Phone Number 01814653119. Receiving the call while Mr. Islam asked his identity, the caller introduced him as Mr. Owali Ullah, Field officer of DGFI and also told that he was met with Mr. Islam following day. Then he told with shouting to Mr. Islam that why he did not follow his prohibition regarding to give statement to the media? He again told with angry that he did not reach Major Sarwar at 17, East Bengle Regiment and ordered Mr. Islam to find out the alleged Major Sarwar, otherwise he would face more suffering. He also used rough language at that time. BACKGROUND: Mr. Islam has had his life threatened on previous occasions. On March 18, 2009 around at 11.15 a.m. when Mr. Shahanur Islam Saikot was working at Bangladesh Institution Human Rights at 27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, he received a call from a person; the cell phone number was displayed as 01937690054. Mr. Islam asked the caller to identify himself. The caller did so only as Billu and starting to verbally abuse him. In response Mr. Islam inquired as to the reason of the call and the purpose of the vulgar language. Billu replied by threatening to kill Mr. Islam On March 19, 2009 Mr. Shahanur again received call from the same phone Number. Once again the caller identified himself as Billu and begun to verbally abuse him and threatened him to kill immediately. He also warned him to take mental preparation about his death. The phone call deeply disturbed and frightened Mr. Islam who in response immediately filed a General Diary at the Peltan Police Station of DMP (Paltan Police Station G. D. No-1409; Dated: 19.03.2009). In it he made a statement about the two threats he received over the phone. On February 28th, 2009 at 11.28 a.m., while Mr. Shahanur Islam Saikot was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, (BIHR) he received a phone call. Mr. Islam asked the caller to identify himself. The caller did so only as Pintu and starting to verbally abuse him. In response Mr. Islam inquired as to the reason of the call and the purpose of the vulgar language. Pintu replied by threatening to murder Mr. Islam by way of a gun shot to the head. Mr. Islam received a second phone call at 11.32 a.m. Once again the caller identified himself at Pintu and begun to verbally abuse him. This time, the caller stated that not only does he intend to murder him, but that he intends to do so that same day. The phone conversation ended with Pintu advising Mr. Islam to mentally prepare for his impending death. The phone call deeply disturbed and frightened Mr. Islam who in response immediately filed a General Diary at the Peltan Police Station of DMP (No-2281). In it he made a statement about the two threats he received over the phone. On March 01st, 2009 at 9.52 a.m., Pintu called Mr. Islam again and restated his threat to murder, this time claiming he would do so immediately. On August 29th, 2008 at 10.17 p.m. he was working at his desk at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights office, when an unidentified person called him. The caller demanded to know Mr. Islam’s identity and location. For personal security reasons Mr. Islam declined answering the caller’s inquiries and instead demanded the same information from the caller. This angered the caller who replied by stating that he could not disclose his identity at the moment. He did, however, state that he is a higher authority of law enforcing agencies. The caller further said that he would disclose his identity and punish Mr. Islam at the earliest possible time. Following these statements, the caller continued on by stating that he knows who Mr. Islam is but does not know his residential address. He further threatened Mr. Islam by claiming that he would come to his home and subject him to punishment. The caller ended the conversation by stating that Mr. Islam would be facing more suffering soon. Following the incident Mr. Islam filed General Diary at the Paltan Police Station in DMP (No-2014). ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is not any isolated instance of such threats on journalists or human rights defenders in Bangladesh. It is a very common phenomenon for the professionals like journalists and human rights defenders of Bangladesh facing death threats from the law-enforcing agencies and security forces. It is well-known that Bangladesh has cultivated one of the best cultures of impunity to alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses despite the nation’s presence in the UN Human Rights Council since May 2006. Instead of improving the country’s human rights records the government of Bangladesh has paved the ways to degrade the rights of the citizens through various means of violations. SUGESTED ACTION: Please write letters to the relevant authorities to take immediate measures to ensure personal security of the victims as well as other human rights activists. Particularly, in order to deter further harassment to Mr. Shahanur, the police should probe the incident of intimidation mentioned above and conduct effective investigation over the case. The perpetrator(s) must be punished in accordance to law. In addition, the police should offer protection to the victim to ensure his personal security before the case is resolved. SAMPLE LETTER: Dear................ Sub: Urge to Immediate Ensure the Security of Human Rights Defender; Investigate Cases of Intimidations and Bring the Culprits before the Justice. I am deeply concern about the threats received by Mr. Shahanur Islam, Secretary General and Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Coordinator of Centre for Human Rights Fact Finding & Research (CHFR), Programme Manager of Legal and Human Rights Affairs at the Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT), as well as a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and Bar Association in Dhaka District. According to the information received, on April 13, 2009 around at 12.30 pm Mr. Shahanur Islam was intimidated by a filed officer of (Sub Inspector Level Official) of Directorate General Forces of Intelligence (DGFI), named Owali Ullah, while he was waiting to speak with media men after filing a case as a lawyer & Human Rights Defender with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM) Dhaka against three men including a Major of Army on charging attempt to murder by torturing on April 13, 2009. The DGFI officer intimidated him not to speak with media men or others regarding this case. He also intimidated him stating that he was going to intervene the case, if he found the case as false; he would take step both of the complainant and Mr. Islam. On April 14, 2009, Mr. Islam again received threat from the same DGFI officer by Cell Phone due to why he was spoken with the media. The DGFI officer also ordered Mr. Islam to find out Major Sarwar, otherwise he will suffer more in future. Previously, Mr. Islam received death threats in several times due to his activity of promote and protect human rights in Bangladesh especially to erase torture perpetrated by the law enforcing agencies. On March 18, 2009, at 11.15 am, Mr. Shahanur Islam received a phone call while he was working at BIHR. The call came from a person who identified himself as “Billu” and who started to verbally abuse him. When Mr. Islam asked about the reason for such a call and rude language, “Billu” threatened to murder him. On March 19, 2009, Mr. Islam received a call from the same phone number and the caller, who once again identified himself as “Billu”, threatened him again and told him to “get mentally prepared for his death”. On the same day, Mr. Islam filed a complaint at the Peltan police station to report on the threats he had received. On February 28, 2009, at 11.30 am, Mr. Shahanur Islam had already received a phone call at BIHR. The call came from a person who identified himself as “Pintu” and who started to verbally abuse him. “Pintu” also threatened to murder Mr. Islam with a gunshot in the head. At 11.32 am, Mr. Islam received a second phone call from the same caller. On this occasion, “Pintu” once more threatened to kill him and told him to get mentally prepared for his death. Subsequently on February 28, 2009, in light of the aforementioned incidents, Mr. Islam filed a complaint at the Paltan police station, reporting on the threats he had received and calling for the immediate arrest of the alleged perpetrator. After filing this complaint, the officer in charge sent policemen at his office to ensure his protection. According to the information received, the police could not trace out the caller. On March 1, 2009, at 9.52 am, “Pintu” called again and threatened to murder Mr. Islam, saying he would come immediately to kill him. Mr. Islam also received death threats in 2008. For instance, on August 29, 2008, an unidentified person called him while he was working at BIHR, and asked for his identity and location. Since Mr. Islam did not reveal such information, the caller replied stating that he was a “higher authority of law enforcing agencies” and that he would come to his home and subject him to punishment. The caller ended the conversation stating that Mr. Islam would be facing more suffering soon. After the threats received by Mr. Islam in 2008 and 2009 and the complaints he lodged, the authorities launched several investigations to enquire about the nature of such incidents. However, as of issuing this urgent appeal, no progress had been made and the perpetrators had not been identified and brought to justice. Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your favorable response to this issue. Yours faithfully, ----------------------- ACTION REQUESTED: Please write to the Bangladeshi authorities urging them to: 1. take all necessary measures to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Shahanur Islam; 2. order a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned death threats, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law; 3. put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Shahanur Islam as well as against all human rights defenders in Bangladesh; 4. ccomply with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or collectively, to promote the protection and fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”; 5. guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments ratified by Bangladesh. ADDRESS:  Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Office of the Prime Minister, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 811 3244 / 3243 / 1015 / 1490, E-mail: pm@pmo.gov.bd or psecy@pmo.gov.bd  Mr. Mohammad Ruhul Amin, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Supreme Court Building, Ramna, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 956 5058  Barrister Shafik Ahmed, Minister, Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-100, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 7168557 (O)  Ms. Shahara Khatun, Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Fax: +88-02-7160405, 88-02-7164788 (O)  Mr. Mahbube Alam, Attorney General of Bangladesh, Office of the Attorney General, Supreme Court Building, Ramna, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 956 1568  General Moeen U Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army, Army Headquarters,Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 875 4455, E-mail: itdte@army.mil.bd  Mr. Nur Mohammad, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Bangladesh Police, Police Headquarters', Fulbaria, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh Fax: +880 2 956 3362 / 956 3363, E-mail: ig@police.gov.bd  Mr. Hassan Mahmud Khandokar, Director General (DG), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), RAB Headquarter, Uttara, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Fax: +880 2 896 2884 (O), E-mail: dg_rab@rab.gov.bd Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Bangladesh in your respective countries. Thanks You Urgent Appeal Programme Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) 27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh Email: saikotbihr@gmail.com; bihr@bangla.net www.bangladeshinstituteofhumanrights.blogspot.com