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.
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,
Date of Incident :
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).
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.
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
Please visit the following links to know more about the case:
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 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.
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
Please visit the following links to know more about the case:
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
This is not any isolated instance of such threats on journalists or human rights defenders in
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
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
Adv. Nazmul H. S. Chowdhury
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)
27, Bijoy Nagar, B-17, Dhaka-1000,