Monday 21st Jan 2019
Radiance Views Weekly
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Human Right Violation in Bangladesh


To hold a meeting, debate or discussion on some pressing issue or stage a protest march against some despotic or anti-people move of the government is a fundamental right in a democracy. But the Sheikh Hasina administration of Bangladesh seems to have been violating this right brazenly and ostentatiously for over two years. On 5 January the police arrested 12 members of the Islami Chhatri Sangstha, the female student wing of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, and some rights activists in and around National Press Club in Dhaka while the latter were participating in a round-table discussion organised by Nari Adhikar Shongstha Bangladesh (Women Rights Organisation Bangladesh). Those arrested include Prof Chamon Ara, renowned writer and former Principal of Eden College; Momtaz Mannan, Former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh; and Noor Jahan Begum Shammi, Assistant Professor, Manarat University. Earlier, on 17 December 2012, the law enforcers had raided the Chhatri Sangstha office at Moghbazar in the capital and arrested 20 hijab-clad leaders and activists, including the wife of the war crime suspect, Quader Mollah. The 5 January meet was to discuss the ways and means to protest the “torture” of the detained Chhatri Sangstha members and demand their immediate release. It was part of the countrywide protests being staged by the various parties and groups ever since the raid on Chhatri Sangstha office.

Jamaat, Shibir and Chhatri Sangstha members are not allowed to hold any meeting. Jamaat’s three In-charge secretary generals, one after another, have been arrested, taken in remand and sent to jail. The fourth acting secretary general is also wanted. Most of the senior and mid-level leaders of Jamaat are in jail or facing detention. Only in last few months, a few thousand workers of Jamaat and Shibir were arrested. This is besides the arrest of 90-year old leader and former Ameer Jamaat Prof. Ghulam Azam, current Ameer Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami and renowned leader and orator Maulana Delwar Hossain Saydee in a sham trial of 1971 war crimes. Dhaka initiated the trial in 2010 and since then has failed to convince the world as to what is the need of this trial after the passage of four decades. The situation has come to such a sorry pass that human rights, it seems, no longer exists in Bangladesh.

Many world leaders including Turkish President Abdullah Gul and renowned Qur’ān Reciter and Khateeb of Holy Ka’ba Abdur-Rahman as-Sudais have tried to prevail upon Dhaka to keep from torturing Islamic activists in the country. It is high time Sheikh Hasina administration stopped the sham trial and released all the leaders and activists of Jamaat, Shibir and Chhatri Sangstha.

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