Sunday, December 26, 2010

Human rights groups urge repeal of India emergency law to end protester's 10-year hunger fast





Human rights organizations today submitted a petition to the government of India declaring their support for a 10-year hunger fast of a woman from Manipur in India against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Sixty-two human rights organizations and 46 individuals signed the petition to mark the 10th anniversary on 2 November of the hunger strike of Irom Sharmila to protest against the continued imposition of the AFSPA in Manipur.  
AFSPA MUST BE REPEALED !
THE 10 YEARS HUNGER STRIKE OF IROM SHARMILA MUST END NOW!
We, the undersigned 108 human rights NGOs, human rights defenders, and women human rights defenders from all over the world, celebrate Ms. Irom Chanu Sharmila’s unwavering courage for standing as a voice for thousands of voiceless people demanding to repeal the Armed Forced Special Powers Act of 1958 (AFSPA). Her 10-year fasting symbolizes the journey of the people of Manipur and other areas of Northeast India for genuine peace and freedom from violence.

The direct cause for the hunger strike of Ms. Irom Sharmila is the Malom massacre in 2 November 2000 which had claimed lives of 10 civilians, including women and children, by the Indian security forces. Ms. Irom Sharmila took an indomitable stand that she will only end her fast when the Government of India repeals the AFSPA. Ironically, the Government of India responded to this act of peaceful protest by arresting her several times on charges of attempted suicide which is unlawful under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code. The cycle of arrests of Ms. Irom Sharmila has continued for the past 10 years.

Ms. Irom Sharmila has been recognized internationally for her work on the issues of women’s empowerment, peace and human rights, and her non-violent means of fighting for human rights. In 2007, Ms. Irom Sharmila has been awarded the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights and in 2010, the Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize. Despite the international community’s recognition of Ms. Irom Sharmila’s work, the Indian government insists on keeping her under judicial custody in the Security Ward of the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Imphal, Manipur, and forcibly feeding her through nasogastric intubation.

The AFSPA was initially introduced in 1958 and was enforced in Manipur in 1980, initially intended to be in effect for only 6 months in order to maintain public order in areas deemed to be “disturbed” by the Indian government. However, the AFSPA is still being implemented in Manipur until now. The Act allows wider discretionary power to an officer of the armed forces to arrest without a warrant, and with the use of necessary force, anyone who has committed certain offenses or is suspected of having done so. Moreover, the Act also grants officers of the armed forces to fire upon or otherwise use force, even if this causes death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law or order as well as to enter and search without warrant any premises to make arrests. The Act further stipulates that any officer of the armed forces may only be prosecuted upon the permission of the central government, a provision that further entrenches the culture of impunity.

The repeal of the AFSPA has been demanded over the years by the international community including the AFSPA Review Committee which formed by the Government of India as well as many human rights defenders in India and all over the world. In fact, in 2009, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, during her visit to India in March 2009, said that the Act breached "contemporary international human rights standards." The European Parliament, in 14 June 2010, also raised the demand for the repeal of the AFSPA. In 2007, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination urged the Government of India to repeal AFSPA and replace it with a more humane Act within one year. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also asked the Indian Government to “provide information on the steps being taken to abolish or reform AFSPA.”

The criminalization of Ms. Irom Sharmila’s peaceful protest against the AFSPA violates Article 1 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which guarantees the right of human rights defenders and women human rights defenders to promote and protect the realisation of human rights. Moreover, restriction imposed on Ms. Sharmila depriving her access with public media, human rights defenders and other people is in violation with said Declaration which ensure freedom of assembly and the right to communicate (Art. 5) and the right to access and disseminate human rights information and to draw public attention to human rights issues (Art. 6).

Last 2 November 2010, Irom Sharmila as well as the people of Northeast India marked a decade of hunger not only for fundamental human rights but also for truth on the foundations of Indian democracy. We join the collective message that we do not want another year of celebration of Ms. Irom Sharmila’s hunger strike and we do not want another year of the AFSPA’s enforcement in India.

We, human rights defenders and women human rights defenders, stand as one in demanding that the AFSPA should be repealed immediately and that the hunger strike of Ms. Irom Sharmila must end now.

The following groups and individuals endorse this statement:

Organisations:

1.    Adhwana Kerala Forum of Partners in Sustainable Development, India
2.    All India Network of Individuals and Organizations Working with National Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI), India
3.    Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
4.    Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
5.    Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), Bangladesh
6.    BAOBAB For Women's Human Rights
7.    Centre for Organization Research & Education (CORE), India
8.    Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)
9.    Common Concern, India
10.    Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
11.    Community Self-Reliance Center (CSRC), Nepal
12.    Dalit Foundation, India
13.    Darshan, India
14.    Development Education and Environment Protection Society (DEEPS), India
15.    EMPOWER, India
16.    Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS), India
17.    Forum Against War on People (Punjab), India
18.    Front Line International
19.    Globe International, Mongolia
20.    Human Rights Defenders Alert-India (HRDA), India
21.    Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB), Burma/Thailand
22.    Human Rights Home Nepal, Nepal
23.    Human Rights Initiative (HRI), India
24.    Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor, Indonesia
25.    Indonesia Human Rights Committee (IHRC), New Zealand
26.    INFORM, Sri Lanka
27.    Informal Sector Service (INSEC), Nepal
28.    Institute of Human Rights Education India (IHRE), India
29.    Integrated Rural Workers Organization (IRWO), India
30.    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
31.    Jananeethi & Jananeethi Institute, India
32.    MADRE
33.    Migrante International
34.    Madurai Multipurpose Social Service Society (MMSSS)
35.    National Alliance on Testimonial Therapy (NATT), India
36.    National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), Pakistan
37.    Non-Violence International Southeast Asia
38.    North East Network (NEN), India
39.    Odhikar, Bangladesh
40.    People's Action For Rural Awakening, India
41.    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), South Korea
42.    People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India
43.    People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), India
44.    People’s Watch (PW), India
45.    RIGHTS, India
46.    Sakshi Human Rights Watch, India
47.    SASVIKA, India
48.    Singapore Democrats Party (SDP), Singapore
49.    Society for Community Organization Trust (SOCO Trust), India
50.    South India for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), India
51.    Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Malaysia
52.    Sudhanthra (Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Domestic Violence and Torture), India
53.    Tanggol Kalikasan, Philippines
54.    The Asian Indigenous Women's Network (AIWN)
55.    The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Cambodia
56.    The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
57.    Think Centre, Singapore
58.    UP Grameen Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Union, India
59.    Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
60.    Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)
61.    World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)
62.    Korea House for International Solidarity (KHIS)

Friday, November 26, 2010

REPORT:Home Ministry Probe of Md. Mohiuddin Arif’s Death In RAB-Police Custody

People’s Republic of Bangladesh Government
Ministry of Home Affairs
Law Branch
Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000

Investigation Report

Reference:
(1) The order of 09/03/2010 under the complaint no.89/09 of National Human Rights Commission, 6/3 Block-D, Lalmatia, Dhaka, based on the complaints of Asian Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and other international organisations working with issues of human rights.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bangladesh: Monthly Human Rights Report (October 2010)

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In October GHRD together with Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) investigated the case of a 15-year old Bangladeshi girl who – after being lured away with false promises by her tutor – was raped and beaten for almost a week. She was also subjected to village arbitration after the locality came to know about her love relationship with her tutor. In this month GHRD also investigated the attack against a Hindu Temple located in Chittagong District. BIHR along with GHRD investigated the attack against 46 indigenous families who were attacked by an armed group claiming to be supported by the ruling party Awami League at Naogaon District. In total 130-135 people were victimized in the Naogaon attacks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

NEWS:Training on Torture and Human Rights Organized by JusticeMakers Bangladesh

Training for the young professional on Torture and Human Rights has been held on September 23, 2010 at HRDP Training Centre at Khulna. Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) together with Human Rights Development Project (HRDP), Khulna organized the event. Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot, recipient of JusticeMakers fellowship-10, awarded by International Bridges to Justice, Switzerland and also executive Director of BIHR conducted the training session as trainer. Thirty young participants from difference professional of the different district across the southern part of the country attend the event to increase their capacity as well as their knowledge about the international human rights instruments available to them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

URGENT APPEAL: Bangladesh: Politically motivated attack on indigenous people with the intention of land grabbing, looting valuable properties, destroying shelter.



Dear Friends,


Between the 9th-11th of October 2010, BIHR along with GHRD investigated the attack against 46 indigenous families who were attacked by an armed group claiming to be supported by the ruling party Awami League on the 23rd of September, 2010 at Naogaon District. The perpetrators vandalized and destroyed houses, looted valuables and physically assaulted five men and a four-year old child. In total 130-135 people were victimized by the attacks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

URGENT APPEAL:Seeking justice through proper investigation regarding the incident of rape, traditional arbitration and extra judicial punishments of the indigenous child


Reff: UA /BIHR/FF/Dianjpur/19/10/10-36                                             October 19, 2010

To

Mrs. Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister
Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
Office of the Prime Minister
Tejgaon, Dhaka
BANGLADESH

Subject: Seeking justice through proper investigation regarding the incident of rape, traditional arbitration and extra judicial punishments of the indigenous child

Dear Sir,

Greetings from Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)

The Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), established on the realization of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has been dedicated to protect and promote human rights in Bangladesh from its inauguration.

BIHR would like to express the grave concern on the information received by the fact finding mission conducted by BIHR & GHRD regarding the case of Kalpona Busk, doughter of Sree Sobhan Busk of village Raghunathpur under Ghoraghat police station in Dinajpur district, a15-year old indigenous child who suffered multiple violations including rape, beatings, threats as well as extra judicial punishments in a village arbitration. Ostracised by her own community, she was lured away by two men to the capital where she was locked up, beaten and raped for almost a week. 

BIHR was informed that the violations started when the villagers discovered that the young girl and her tutor had a love affair. The girl was then beaten and abused by her tutor’s family – trying to force her to end the relationship. The community also called the village arbitration and ruled that the girl’s father had to provide food to the entire indigenous community as reparation; otherwise they would outcast the girl and her family. According to the information, they were also threatened with physical violence in case they could not provide the food. Fearing their safety the girl along with her family temporarily went into hiding. At this point her tutor contacted her and offered her solution to their hopeless situation: a marriage and promises to provide her with a job in Dhaka. Her parents agreed and sent their daughter with her tutor on the 4th of June, 2010. The tutor – along with two accomplishes – locked up the girl in a house in Dhaka and raped her. She was also threatened with electric shocks and with a dagger. For six days she was repeatedly raped, threatened, and she was also forced to drink alcohol. I was also informed that then on the 10th June, she was thrown out on the street in an unconscious state due to days of abuse.  The father of the victim appealed to the local community leader and to the chairman and member of local Union Parishad to address the case, however, the perpetrators refused to appear at the arbitration.

According to the information, although the police in Ghoraghat, Dinajpur District had been informed of the situation, they did not take any initiative to resettle the victim and her family to their village prior to BIHR and GHRDs intervention.  Neither did they take any steps towards arresting the perpetrator prior to the intervention by the villagers.  Through the intervention of GHRD and BIHR, who mediated with the village leaders and authorities, the girl and her family have successfully been resettled to their house.

BIHR request you to take all necessary steps in order to address the prevalence of traditional arbitration, and extra judicial punishments; which are resulting in severe human rights violations. I also strongly urge the authorities to provide human rights education and training to local police authorities as well as to the general population, in order to bring an end to the practice of traditional arbitration; to ensure an efficient and independent investigation into the above case in order to bring the perpetrators to justice and prevent re-victimization of the victim; and to ensure the full protection and rehabilitation of the victimized girl and her family`.


Yours Sincerely,



Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot
LL.B(Hon’s); LL,M(Law & Justice)
JusticeMakers Fellow-10, Switzerland

Secretary General/Executive Director
Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)
27, Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Cell:01720308080, Email:saikotbihr@gmail.com
www.bihr-bihr.blogspot.com, Skypie: saikot.bihr

Sunday, October 17, 2010

FACT FINDING REPORT:Politically Motivated Attacked on Indigenous Community in Naogaon District.


The news headed “Attack on Indigenous People in Naogaon :'Land grabbers' still issuing threats: Two cases filed, none yet to be arrested” was published the daily Star on 30 September 2010. The news came to knowledge at the concern authority of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and a fact-finding mission has been conducted by a team of Bangladesh BIHR & GHRD comprising Md. Ehsanul Haque, Coordinator, TFT, Naogaon and Adv. Shahanur Islam Saikot, Executive Director, BIHR from 9th to 11th October, 2010.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

URGENT APPEAL: [Bangladesh]: a 15-year old Christian minority girl raped, abused and subjected to extra judicial punishment (village arbitration)

On the 2nd and 3rd September 2010, GHRD together with Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) investigated the case of a 15-year old Christian minority girl who suffered multiple violations including rape, beatings, threats as well as extra judicial punishments in a village arbitration.  Ostracised by her own community, she was lured away by two men to the capital where she was locked up, beaten and raped for almost a a week. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

ARTICLE: Death Reference Cases of is Highly Jam at Higher Court in Bangladesh

Shahanur Islam Saikot
LL.B(Hon's);LL.M(Law& Justice)
JusticeMakers Fellow-10

There are 534 cases of death reference under trial in High Court of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. These cases are waiting for final judgment after verdict of death sentence given by lower court due to lengthiness of judicial procedure. Though the many cases are prepared for hearing of death reference, due to various hidden causes it is not been possible to make hearing due to resulting jam of cases before the higher court which create unbearable suffering to the people. In spite of being speedy trial of sensitive cases in lower court, it becomes held up in higher court for judgment. The need would be to make speedy trial of these cases, with the increased bench of death confirmation in High Court.

It is learned that there are 656 cases of death reference in High court division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Among them 122 cases are being completed its judgment and rest of the 534 are now waiting for hearing. Some of them are under trial of high court for at least five years.

There are 47 death reference cases for this current year, 83 cases for the year of 2009, 137 cases for the year of 2008, 102 cases for the year of 2007, 111 for the year of 2006 and 55 cases of death reference for the year of 2005 are waiting to hearing at High court division of Bangladesh Supreme Court. Among them 120 cases for the year of 2005, 1 case for the year of 2006 and 22 cases for current year have been completed trial procedure. Presently 8 cases are prepared for hearing before the court and paper book for hearing has been prepared for 9 cases.

Many sensitive cases including Ahsan Ullah Master Murder case, parliament member Sujan murder case and Indian citizen Jibran murder case are still waiting for hearing at High Court.

According to court, five to six cases of death reference is dismissing after final judgment in every month by its four benches. It is not being made possible to do speedy hearing of all the death reference cases due to vacancy of court as well as the changing the jurisdiction of the bench. Moreover, other cases are being hearing at the bench of death reference due to not submitting the paper book.

A monitoring cell to identify important and sensitive case, taking prompt step for hearing, ensuring the presence of witnesses regularly, appeal to the accused of death sentence, to prepare speedy paper book as well as to associate the office of the attorney general has been formed. But, it is alleged that the monitoring cell did not work properly.

According to criminal proceeding court (Cr.P.C ), the verdict of death sentence given by the lower court can not executed without permission of High court. Whether any party of case does not file the appeal or not, the government must file the case with high court for death reference. So, every verdict of death sentence must be ensured by the order of High court. But it takes year to year to complete death reference case because of the length of time it takes to prepare the paper books.  

Currently, there are two separate benches that has the jurisdiction of death reference cases. But it is not enough for dismissing cases quickly. So, government must increase the number of bench under jurisdiction of hearing death reference case and also delegate the jurisdiction to hear these kind of cases who are able to do to decrees the jam of death reference case in the High court.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

URGENT ACTION: Death of a minority boy in prison due to torture by the policemen.


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Monday, September 27, 2010

FACT FINDING REPORT:An Indigenous Community Child has been victimized in Gang Raped as well as having the Girl is Eexcommunicated by the Community People.


The news headed “An indigenous adolescent girl has been rapped alluring to give job at Ghoragha under Dinajpur district” was published the daily Karatoa on 27 august 2010. The news came to knowledge at the concern authority of Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) and a fact-finding mission has been conducted by a team of Bangladesh BIHR & GHRD comprising Adv. Rabindra Ghosh, GHRD, Dhaka; Gonesh Rajbongsi, Volunteer, GHRD, Dhaka; Rabindra Prasad Gupta, Volunteer, BIHR; Adv. Shahanur Islam, Executive Director, BIHR on 2nd and 3rd September 2010.

Friday, September 24, 2010

NEWS:Probe body hold first meeting on death of JASAS man in custody

A home ministry committee for probing the death of Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha leader Amirul Islam Mintu in custody at its first meeting on Thursday discussed a complaint on the issue referred by the National Human Rights Commission.

‘We have discussed the complaint of a rights organisation referred to the home ministry by the National Human Rights Commission,’ a committee member told New Age after the meeting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NEWS:Arrest warrant against four police officers

Reported by: UNBconnect
Reported on: September 22, 2010 22:52 PM
Reported in: National
 
Dhaka, Sep 22 (UNB)- The CMM court today ordered warrant of arrest against four former police officers of Ramna thana in a case that accused them of torturing a BCL leader in custody more than 6 years ago.

The accused are former OC Mahbubur Rahman, SIs Nair Ali and Rezaul Karim and police sergeant Anwar.

NEWS:Warrants issued for arrest of four policemen

Staff Correspondent 

A Dhaka court on Wednesday issued warrants for arrest of four police officers, including former Ramna police officer-in-charge Mahbubur Rahman, in connection with torturing a Chhatra League leader in custody to force ‘false admission’ in the case of attempt on the life of Dhaka University teacher Humayun Azad in 2004.

Metropolitan magistrate Mehedi Hasan Talukder passed the order after hearing an investigation report on a complaint filed with the Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate’s court on March 5, 2008 by Chhatra League leader Abu Abbas Bhuiyan accusing former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar and the four policemen of torturing him in custody to force ‘false admission.’

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

রমনা থানার সাবেক ওসি সহ চার পুলিশের বিরুদ্ধে গ্রেফতারী পরোয়ানা "


রিমান্ডে নিয়ে স্বীকারোক্তি আদায়ের নামে নির্মম নির্যাতনের অভিযোগে রমনা থানার সাবেক ওসি মাহবুবুর রহমান, এস আই নাসের আলী, এস আই রেজাউল করিম ও সার্জেন্ট আনোয়ারের বিরুদ্ধে আজ গ্রেফতারী পরোয়ানা জারী হয়েছে। মহানগর হাকিম জনাব মেহেদি হাসান তালুকদার ঢাকা মহানগর গোয়েন্দা পুলিশ কর্তিক প্রদত্ত তদন্ত রিপোর্টের ভিত্তিতে মামলাটি আমলে নিয়ে এই আদেশ প্রদান করেন।

মামলার অভিযোগে জানা যায়, গত ২৭ ফেব্রয়ারী ২০০৪ ইং তারিখে  ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের বাংলা বিভাগের সম্মানিত শিক্ষক ডঃ হুমায়ূন আজাদের উপর সন্ত্রাসীদের হামলার প্রতিবাদে  গত ২৮ ফেব্রুয়ারী ২০০৪ ইং তারিখে ঢাকা বিশ্ব বিদ্যালয়ের সাধারণ ছাত্র-ছাত্রীদের ব্যানারে অনুষ্ঠিত মিছিল হতে ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে রাষ্ট্রবিজ্ঞান বিভাগের ছাত্র ও বাংলাদেশ ছাত্রলীগ কেন্দ্রীয় নির্বাহী সংসদের গণশিক্ষা বিষয়ক সম্পাদক মোঃ আবু আব্বাস ভুঁইয়াকে গ্রেফতার করে রমনা থানা্য় আটকনির্মম নির্যাতন করে। পরবর্তীতে ডঃ হুমায়ূন আজাদের উপর সন্ত্রাসী হামলা্য় মিথ্যেভাবে জড়িত করে ৫ দিনের রিমান্ডে নিয়ে স্বীকারোক্তি আদায়ের নামে গত ০২ মার্চ ২০০৪ তারিখ পর্যন্ত রমনা থানার তৎকালীন ভারপ্রাপ্ত কর্মকর্তা মাহবুবুর রহমানসহ উল্লেখিত পুলিশ সদস্যগন অমানবিক নির্যাতন করে তার বাম হাতের মধ্যাঙ্গুল ভেঙ্গে ফেলে। পরবর্তীতে তার অবস্থা খুব বেশী খারাপ হলে জেল হাজতে প্রেরণ করেন।

Monday, September 20, 2010

NEWS: NHRC asks govt to probe youth’s killing by BDR

Staff Correspondent

The National Human Rights Commission has asked the home ministry investigate the killing of a youth by the Bangladesh Rifles in Lalmonirhat on August 18.

The ministry was also asked to report to the commission by October 3 after inquiring the complaint filed by Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights on the basis of newspaper reports on the killing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bangladesh: Monthly Human Rights Report (August 2010) by GHRD



Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD)
Monthly Human Rights Report
Bangladesh, August 2010
 

Introduction

This month GHRD investigated human rights violations concerning police negligence, murder, looting and land grabbing, bribery and two religiously motivated attacks against minorities. Land grabbers attacked a 300-year old Hindu temple in Sutrapur, evicting 11 Hindu families. GHRD also investigated an attack against an Ahmediyya community in the Tangail District, alleged to have been agitated by the local Islamic extremist group Imam Parishad. The attacks received a lot of attention both by media and local human rights groups. On a positive note, the Office of the Prime Minister demanded the Home Ministry to ensure that a full investigation will be carried out into one of the kidnapping cases investigated by GHRD/BIHR in June. GHRD and BIHR welcome the initiative and will continue to monitor the implementation.

Breaking News!

The Office of the Prime minister demands investigation into kidnapping of Hindu girl 


After the BIHR/GHRD fact-finding and submission of an urgent appeal regarding the police inaction into the kidnapping of a 14 year old girl, the office of the Prime Minister instructed the Secretary of Home Minister to take necessary actions to ensure the proper investigations into the kidnapping of the Hindu girl. The girl was abducted on the 16th of March at Sirajgonj district. Although there was a FIR filed by the victim’s father, she was not rescued till 1st April. Finally - due to continuous demonstration by the local people, journalist and human right activists - the police compelled to rescue the victim as well as arrest the perpetrators.

Fact Finding Investigations and Legal Assistance

Religiously motivated attack against Hindu temple. In total 31 families victimized by landgrabbers. 
11 August, Dhaka 

Between 19-21 August BIHR with the help of GHRD investigated an attack against a 300-year old Hindu temple at the Sutrapur District. On 11th August numerous perpetrators attacked the temple, destroyed several parts of it and desecrated Hindu deities. Valuables belonging to the temple such as sacred images were also looted. A man belonging to the community was severely beaten when he tried to stop the perpetrators. Eleven families were forcefully evicted and another twenty families were threatened to leave their homes immediately.
During the incident, the victims asked the local police station to intervene, yet, no actions were taken by the police. Instead, according to the statement of an eyewitness, the police assisted the perpetrators by asking the victims to leave their home.
One of the men belonging to the community, has lodged a FIR (at) the Sutrapur police station on 17th August, but on 20th August he sent GHRD an appeal containing his statement that he was forced by a local policeman to sign this false FIR, as it gave the perpetrators the right to occupy the temple and it did not mention the demolishing of the temple.According to his statement, after the perpetrators got bail from court on the 19th of August, they threatened the victims again and even - according to the victim - bomb was exploded on the 20th of August.
On the 20th August 2010 he decided to file a supplementary FIR in order to correct his previous allegations and to supplement the previous FIR. No perpetrators have been arrested as a result of the investigation, moreover, they keep conducting their illegal activities – according to victim’s statement – mostly with the knowledge of police. GHRD investigated the incident locally, spoke with the authorities and issued urgent appeal.

Police negligence in an attack against Ahmediyya community
7th August, 2010 Tangail district

 

Police negligence and attempt bribery in murder case of a Hindu minority man
7th August, 2010 Jessore District
On the 7th of August GHRD investigated the murder of a 45 year old Hindu man, who was killed after he – despite of being warned to do so – did not withdraw the case he filed against the alleged perpetrators responsible for the abduction of his wife and children on the 3rd of May 2008. The man was kidnapped and killed on the 9th of August 2009, and his decapitated body was found outside the Jessore District. His wife was threatened not to report the case, however she was once again kidnapped by the same suspects and forcefully converted to Islam and pressured to marry the main suspect.

The local village police filed an FIR at the Moheshpur police station asking the local chairman to trace the perpetrators. The mother of the victim has tried to bring the suspect to justice and filed a petition at the Judicial Magistrate Court of Jessore. However, the sub inspector of the police station of Kotwali (who allegedly received bribes from the suspects) provided false evidence during a court hearing on the 17th of April 2010 – later he admitted that his report was not correct - which led to the dismissal of the case and the impunity of the perpetrators.
An attempt was also made by this Inspector to bribe the GHRD team during their investigation so as not to disclose his misconduct. Despite this, he is still working at the police station and is involved in the investigation.On the 9th of July 2010 three suspects were arrested and all of them confessed to the abduction and murder of the Hindu man. The main suspect was also arrested and is now in jail custody.
GHRD investigated the case on the 7th of August 2010 by visiting the house of the victim, talking to the victim’s mother and local witnesses.The victim’s children live with his mother who had once again been threatened to withdraw her case. However, the police have failed to take any action.
The brutal murder of a 14 year old Hindu minority girl 
4th August, 2010 Magura District

 
Photo: GHRD investigator on the crime scene.
The police are right now awaiting a medical report. GHRD investigated the case on the 6th of August by visiting the scene of the murder, talking to the victim’s family and locals as well as the authorities.

Urgent Appeals

Bangladesh: Police negligence in murder case of a Hindu minority man [UA-BA-27.08.2010]
 

NGO and Media Reports

Odhikars month report 

In the month of August, Odhikar reported violations against the freedom of the media and reported cases concerning extrajudicial killings. What is more concerning though is the high number of violations against women.
According to their information, in August 2010, 42 women were raped (22 adults and 20 underaged), of whom seven were killed after being raped and seven of whom were gang raped. It has also been reported that 49 women and three children were subjected to dowry related violence, of whom 32 women and two children were killed due to dowry related issues and 11 were victims of inhuman treatment. In the month of August 2010, 15 people were victims of acid violence of whom eight were women, three were men, and four were underaged. Odhikar has also reported numerous incidents of human rights violation against journalist and human rights defender. According to Odhikar’s information, during the month of August there have also been several incidents of human rights violations at the border areas by the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF), in total 14 people were victimized.
Read full report here 

BIHR month report 

According to the month report BIHR published in July, 91 people belonging to ethnic and religious minority groups were injured, three were abducted, six were murdered, and 20 people were compelled to leave their residing village.

38 different incidents of human rights violation took place including attacks, looting, vandalism, abduction, land grabbing, attempts to land grabbing, attempts to abduction, rubbery, treats and murder.

According to BIHR’s information, during the reporting period a total 53 women were raped. Among them three were killed by perpetrators after rape and one committed suicide after rape. Six women and girls were victimized in gang rape and one was killed after gang rape. Besides these incidents, eleven women and children were victimized in attempted rapes.
Read full report here 




Local Observers and Partners
GHRD Dhaka conducts fact finding investigations and provides legal assistance to minority victims of human rights violations in Bangladesh. In addition GHRD Dhaka, collaborates with Parittran (Dalit Rights), Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights, Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims and Bangladesh Minority Watch.
GHRD Dhaka, Observer Advocate Rabindra Ghosh 3/2 Purana Paltan – Purana Paltan P.S, Dhaka-1000 Phone nr : + 0711172468

Bangladesh Minority Watch (BDMW) 12, K.M. Das Lane- Tikatully- Bholagiri Trust- Sutrapur PS, Dhaka.Telephone: 0088-01711172468,bdmw.org

 
 
 
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

URGENT APPEAL:Bangladesh: Religiously motivated attack against a Hindu temple



The Hague, The Netherlands

URGENT APPEAL:Bangladesh: Religiously motivated attack against a Hindu temple.
                                                                                     
ISSUES:  Minority rights, physical assault, forced eviction, threats, religious destruction, police negligence, corruption.


Dear Friends,

Between the 19th- 21st of August 2010 GHRD Dhaka together with Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) investigated the attack against a Hindu temple at the Sutapur District. 11 families were forcefully evicted and another 20 families were threatened to leave their home immediately. One woman, Eva Ghosh was dragged by her hair.


Case Details
On the night of the 11th of August a 300 years old Hindu temple was attacked by 20-25 perpetrators. The perpetrators used hand grenades during the attack and several parts of the temple were destroyed: they destroyed 25 doors and windows, desecrated Hindu deities and looted valuables amounting to 15.00.000 Taka. Valuables belonging to the temple such as sacred images were also looted or destroyed. A man belonging to the community was severely beaten when he tried to stop the perpetrators.
11 resident families (of total 33 members) were forcefully evicted.  Another 20 families (with a total of 69 members) were threatened to leave their homes immediately. Eva Ghosh was also assaulted.During the incident, the victims asked the police station to take necessary action to help and to prevent further violations, yet, no actions or initiatives were taken by the police. Instead, according to statement of eyewitness, the police assisted the perpetrators by asking the victims to leave their home.

One of the men belonging to the community, Sawpan Saha Banik, has lodged a FIR at the Sutrapur police station which has been recorded under Case No. 29/504, date: 17.08.2010 under section 448, 447, 103, 506 of the Penal Code.
 On 20 August, 2010 GHRD Dhaka submitted an appeal by Sawpan Saha Banik stating that Mr. Banik was forced to make a complaint by Sub Inspector of Police, Sutrapur Police Station: Mr. Mohammad Selim Reza. Mr. Banik was threatened to sign the complaint, which did not mention the demolishing of the temple and which stated that “the temple was sold by someone” (thus giving the perpetrators the right to occupy it).

Then, on 20 August 2010 Mr. Sawpan Saha Banik decided to file a supplementary FIR at above mentioned Police station. This was done in order to correct his previous allegation stating “the temple was sold by someone”, and to supplement the previous FIR with sections 295, 295 (a) of the Penal Code and section 10 (2) of the Prevention of the Women and Children Repression Act 2000 (amended in 2003).

According to his statement, after the perpetrators got bail from court on the 19th of August, they threatened the victims again. According to the victim, on 20th of August, in addition, there was a bombing.

A number of human rights organizations have protested against this act and demanded that the perpetrators should be brought to justice. Students at the Dhaka University arranged a demonstration to demand the restoration and reconstruction of the temple as well as the safety of the minority community. The incident has also been covered by different newspapers (Daily Amar Desh, Daily Ittefaq).

Suggested Action:
GHRD condemns this attack against the Hindu temple and families and urges the authorities to investigate this serious allegation of police negligence and corruption, and to make the findings available in a report as soon as possible.
It is particularly worrying that although the victim(s) asked for police assistance, no actions were taken to stop the violation. Moreover, according to the victims, the police assisted the perpetrators. The perpetrators must be brought to justice and adequate compensation should be arranged for the families.
Specifically, we urge upon the authorities:
1.      To ensure the rehabilitation of the evicted victims;
2.      To ensure an impartial investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice and prevent impunity;
3.      To ensure exemplary punishment of the perpetrators who were directly or indirectly involved in this violation of human rights;
4.      To ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards;
5.      To provide human rights education and training both to the public and government authorities in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
 


Thank you.