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


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

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,, 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.