Sunday, February 19, 2012

JusticeMakers Bangladesh demands fully investigate the case and to ensure the safety of the complainant in case of arson attack – Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

The Hague, 10 October 2011

Police authorities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have denied to register a General Diary submitted regarding continuous threats made against Mr Milon Chakma – the only complainant to register a First Information Report regarding the February and April arson attacks investigated and reported by GHRD & JusticeMakers Bangladesh that left hundreds of indigenous Jumma in The CHT region homeless.

On the 31 August, 2011 around at 5.00 PM, Mr. Milon Chakma, received threats to withdraw his case relating to the February and April arson attacks against the Jumma communities in Rangamati and Khagrachari districts in the CHT. Mr. Chakma was in a tea shop with an associate and was told by one of the co-accused in the case, Md. Jasim Uddin, Son of Abdul Malek of Rangipara village under Longdu police station in Rangamati district that if he failed to withdraw his case, he will be implicated in false criminal cases and put to the jail forever.

After receiving the threats, Mr. Chakma immediately informed the Longdu police station verbally and requested protection. Less than two weeks late, on September 11, 2011 Mr. Chakma submitted a written complaint to the officer in Charge of Longdu police station, requesting to register a General Diary concerning his security. The concerned police officer denied to register the case.

Mr. Chakma is now anxious about his physical security and the possibility of being physically assaulted or implicated in false cases. Mr. Chakma has also received threats previously relating to his registered case regarding the February and April arson attacks.

Police in the CHT region have failed to protect the indigenous Jumma community and have been implicated in human rights abuses themselves. During the February and April attacks, border guards and other security forces stood by and watched as Jumma homes were burned to ashes. Now, police ignore the cries for help from the only person in the community to speak out against the arson attacks that left hundreds of indigenous men, women and children injured and homeless.

Police impunity and disregard for human rights violations and the safety of minority groups in the CHT only serves to exacerbate the situation for minorities in the region who fear for their safety and are unable to seek justice through the authorities in the region. GHRD and our local partner, JusticeMakers Bangladesh demands the authorities to register the Mr. Chakma’s General Diary, to fully investigate his case and to ensure his safety.

To learn more about GHRD’s findings on the February and April arson attacks, please go here.
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