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Universal Periodic Review | How the Process Developed in the Last Cycle »

March 18, 2013

Human Rights Forum - Bangladesh

Click link to see organisations individual Websites

Human Rights Forum, Bangladesh is a national platform of 19 human rights organizations working to defend and promote human rights in Bangladesh. Started in 2007, the Forum first came to name itself as Human Rights Forum on Universal Periodic Review (HR-UPR Forum) since its main objective for gathering together was to collectively prepare the Stakeholders Report to be submitted under the Universal Periodic Review process of the UN Human Rights Council. Ain o Shalish Kendra (ASK), who has UNECOSOC consultative status, had been selected as the secretariat of the Forum. The 19 member organizations mainly work on the broader areas such as Human Rights, Women’s Rights, Development, Indigenous, Dalit, Disability etc.

Mission

The Human Rights Forum, Bangladesh wants to build a human rights culture in Bangladesh through raising a united voice against all types of violence, discrimination and corruption that abuse human rights.

Major Objectives

1.    To take part in all national and international instruments and mechanisms to defend human rights (e.g. UPR process, NHRC activities)

2.    To raise a collective voice against incidences of human rights violations of any Bangladeshi citizens or groups

3.    Strengthen/build capacity of human rights defenders across the country.

Preparation for the 2nd Cycle of Universal Periodic Review

o   List of Issues submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the 2nd cycle of UPR   (same link)

o   Workshop for selecting issues for the 2nd cycle of UPR

o   Sharing the draft UPR report with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Human Rights Commission 

o   Briefing on the UPR Report with the media  (Naffesa apu, we had added report on the briefing in website but  i did not get the report, pls look on it)

o   Sharing the UPR Report at Divisional Levels – Sylhet, Khulna, Chittagong and Barisal (I will send you the reports and photos )

o   Briefing the UPR Report with the Foreign Missions

     Advocacy Pager of Human Rights Forum (check mail)

o   Pre-session organized by UPR Info (Statement will be uploaded there)

o   Bangladesh Compilation-

·         State Report under UPR 2009 : Submitted by the Government of Bangladesh (Pls see the doc in the mail attachment)

·         Compilation of UN information: Prepared by the OHCHR (pls see the doc in the attachment)

·         Compilation of Stakeholders’ Report: Prepared by the OHCHR (Pls see the doc in the attachment)

 

  1st Cycle of Universal Periodic Review

o   Stakeholders’ Report under the UPR 2009 : Submitted by the  Human Rights Forum on UPR

o   State Report under UPR 2009 : Submitted by the Government of Bangladesh

o   Compilation of UN information: Prepared by the OHCHR

o   Compilation of Stakeholders’ Report: Prepared by the OHCHR

o   Recommendations made to Bangladesh. English - Bangla

o   Joint Oral Statement Delivered by ASK and FORUM-ASIA at the UPR Plenary on Bangladesh 

(The documents are available in the following link of our website—-http://www.askbd.org/web/?page_id=1005,

Nafeesa apu, pls do neccessary thing to get the document directly from this new page.)

 

 

 

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Three Day Human Rights Theatre Festival 14-16 March 2013 »

March 13, 2013


  “Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.
Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” Arund
hati Roy

See Invitation Flyer in Bengali
See Poster for Event

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Program Schedule 

Day 1

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4.30pm onwards - 14 March 2013, Thursday – 1st Day – Stage of Rabindra Sarabor, Lake Stage nr, Dhanmondi 8

Inauguration ceremony in the Gracious Presence of :

Professor Serajul Islam Choudhary Eminent Litterateur

Motahar Akand - General Secretary - Manobadhikar Nattar Parishad (MNP) - Human Rights Theatre Council

Mannan Hira - Script Writer, Director and Actor

Kamal Lohani - President of MNP

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Joypurhat MNP, Tangail MNP, Dhaka Yes Theatre, Pidim Theatre, Noagoan MNP, Sirajgonj MNP, Jahangirnagar Theatre

————————————————————————————————————————–

Day 2

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4.30pm – 10pm 15 March 2013, Friday- 2nd Day

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Rally : Central Shahid Miner to Shahbag, at 10:30am

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Theatre performance: Stage of  Rabindra Sarabor

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Gaibandah MNP,  Mymensing MNP, Netrokona MNP, Kishorgonj MNP, Bot tola, Jhenaidah MNP, Nattodhara, Pabna MNP, Prachaynat 

————————————————————————————————————————–

Day 3

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4.30pm – 10pm 16 March 2013, Saturday- 3rd Day-  Stage of  Rabindra Sarabor

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Closing Ceremony 5.30 pm

Special Guests

Murtaja Basheer – Artist, poet, short story writer, novelist, researcher and film maker

Protibha Mutsuddi –  Language heroine, Educationalist, an icon of women’s empowerment, Click Link to listen to a podcast of her recent interview with BBC Bangla on the Language movement

Ajit MondalWorked in Joypurhat for the development of youth theatre and cultural sector. During the liberation war, he performed plays in India to collect funds for the refugees.

Mamuner RashidTheatre Actor and Director and also part of the talented  Aaronok theatre group

Sultana Kamal - Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra

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Kushtia MNP, Uttasho- Chittagong, Dhaka Mohanogor, Aronnok


Training Unit - March 2013 »

March 12, 2013

The Training unit concentrates on the capacity building of ASK staff and others human rights actors. This unit is also conducting on request training on various Human rights issues for different organizations.

Training unit is going to conduct the following training events during the month of March, 2013.    

Note:

* Sr. trainer Tasmin Dina is going to participate in TOT (Training Of Trainers) on Youth and Human Rights under the Common Wealth Program, Asia  on March 17-23, 2013 New Delhi, India.  

** According to the contract between UNDP and ASK, the training unit is going to complete to major events in March 2013, one is TOT for students and another one is training supervision.

Launch of Human Rights Reports in 10 Districts »

February 24, 2013

It has been an action packed start to the year for the Gender and Social Justice Unit.

Through January and February 2013 the Gender and Social Justice Unit’s team along with Sanaiyaa Ansari and Taufique Mannan went to the various districts to launch the respective reports in nine districts.

 
One of the major objectives of Gender and Social Justice Unit of ASK is to develop its partner NGO’s as Human Rights Organizations in their respective districts. Capacity building plays an important for the unit. 
The unit has assisted 10 of the partner organisations in Naogaon, Joypurhat, Gaibandha, Jhenaidah, Kustia, Pabna, Kishoreganj, Netrokona, Sirajganj and Mymensing. to publish 10 annual human rights report on the human rights situation of their own area.

These reports were launched after ASK field researchers have been working closely with local organisations gathering the information over the past year. The purpose of the reports were to compile information on the human rights situation district by district to get an accurate overview of violations and crimes covering torture and violence cases against women and children, political violence and torture . ASK helped facilitate the creation of Human Rights Forums in each district, holding two training sessions with the local Human Rights Forum and local Partner NGOs.


A Positive Journey

The first stage had been to compile the information regarding human rights situation from each district. Field workers from the unit had been collecting information from each of this ten districts and there was also a workshop to help facilitate this process, the ‘’Workshop on District Based Human Rights report writing’’  for 10 Partner and local organizations’ was held on (date) .

The workshop strengthened NGO coordination , a committee was formed, the  Manobadhikar (Human Rights) Forum  decided which issues would be selected, the way in which to prepare the reports, responsibilities of reporting and the strategies for the final presentation.

Local NGOs started to organise their own meetings, ASK has facilitated and assisted in fine tuning the process.

Main Focus of the Reports :

  • ·         Economic and civil rights of the respective area
  • ·         Economic , social and cultural rights of the respective area
  • ·         Women’s rights of the respective area
  • ·         Adivashi’s rights of the respective area
  • ·         Institutional development of the respective area

These reports will help each area to monitor the problems in the area and take the necessary measures.  They will be produced every year providing statistics, information and in turn recommendations.

Though there was no budget allocated for collecting information, compilation and report writing. The efforts and achievements were notably praiseworthy of the partner’s organizations:

  • District based local NGOs and grassroots level organizations have made a serious effort in collecting information and working on the report.Besides NGOs, Press Clubs , Local News papers Editorial forum, Community Radio , local office of National NGOs, Senior lawyers of the Bar were involved in the  process.
  • The report writing process has been running smoothly with regular follow up.
  • The enforcement of the ‘’Right To Information Act’’ had been taking place, this process  has also helped to create awareness on information collection and the right to information.

Gaibanda

On the 18th of February, Sultana Kamal, Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra went to help launch the report in Naogaon, Joypurhat and Gaibanda where the reports were welcomed from various stakeholders in the local communities; including Deputy Police Commissioners’, local Mayor, Civil Surgeon, representatives from the Education , Health, agriculture sector and members of the press.

She emphasised the importance of all the stakeholders taking responsibility in fulfilling their role in addressing violations which were depriving people from their basic needs.

 

Training on Transactional Analysis (TA101) | PsychoSocial »

February 17, 2013

Click to download application for Transactional Analysis Training

Scroll below for Course Outline

A. STATEMENT OF THE PURPOSE OF THE TA 101 COURSE

B. DEFINITION AND PHILOSOPHY OF TA AND ITS AREAS OF APPLICATION

a.             Definition of Transaction Analysis

b.            Philosophical assumptions

c.             Contractual method

d.            Areas of application - differences in process

i.              Clinical

ii.             Organizational

iii.            Educational

iv.            Counseling

C. BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF TA

a.             Eric Berne

i.              Who was Eric Berne

ii.             Development of ideas

iii.            Books written by Berne

 

b.            Growth of the ITAA

i.              San Francisco Social Psychiatry Seminar

ii.             International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA)

iii.            Regional and national TA associations

 D. STRUCTURAL & FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS

a.             Definition of ego states

b.            Recognition and diagnosis of ego states

c.             Functional analysis of ego states

d.            Egogram

e.             Contamination and exclusion.

E. TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS PROPER

a.             Transactions 

i.              Definition of transaction

ii.             Types of transactions

iii.            Rules of communication

b.            Stokes

i.              Definition of strokes

ii.             Stimulus and recognition hunger

iii.            Types of strokes

 

c.             Discounts

i.              Definition of discounts (internal process and passive behavours)

ii.             Levels of discounts

iii.            Reasons for discounting

 

d.            Social time structuring

i.              Structure hunger

ii.             Six ways of structuring time

 

F.         GAME ANALYSIS

a.     Definitions of games

b.    Reasons for playing games

c.     Advantages of games

d.    Examples of games

e.     Degrees of games


f.     Ways of diagramming games

i.              Transactional diagram

ii.             Formula G

iii.            Drama Triangle

G.         RACKET ANALYSIS

            a.         Definitions of rackets and trading stamps

b.         Significance of internal/intrapsychic processes

c.             Relationship of rackets to transactions, games, and script

H.         SCRIPT ANALYSIS

            a.         Life positions

i.              Definition of life positions

ii.             The four life positions

iii.            Relationship of life positions to games and scripts

b.         Script

i.              Definitions of script

ii.             Origin of script in child’s experiences

iii.            Process of script development (injunctions, programme, counter injections, early decisions, attributions)

iv.            Changing scripts

I.          GOALS OF TA

            a.         Definitions of autonomy

            b.         Awareness

d.            Spontaneity

e.             Capacity for intimacy

Training on Self Awareness and Decision Making | PsychoSocial »

February 17, 2013

Click to Download Application Form for this course

Please look below for Course Outline


             

               Course Outline

Introduction to Transactional Analysis
Personality and Psychological Structural
Personality and Function
Understanding Self
Social Communication Pattern and Rules
Basis of Motivation and Self Role
Structuring need
Nonverbal Messages for Structuring Personality
Human belief and Position
Problem Solving and Intra-psychic Process
Psychological Game
Developmental Cycle
Stress & Burnout Management
Personal Action Plan

UPR Report Sharing with Diplomats | 12 February 2013 »

February 14, 2013

Basic Q&A about the Univeral Periodic Review

Explaining the UPR Process

How the UPR Process developed in Bangladesh in the Last Cycle

On Wednesday 12 February 2013, the Human Rights Forum in Bangladesh shared its findings with the diplomats in Dhaka. Previously, in October 2012, the Human Rights Forum submitted their stakeholders report under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council. The second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on Bangladesh is going to be held on April 2013 in Geneva.

Around 25 representatives from different Foreign Missions and International Organisations gathered in Baridhara for the report sharing meeting. Members of the Forum also attended  the meeting.

Sultana Kamal,  the convenor of the Forum and also  the Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra, the Secretariat for the human rights forum Bangladesh moderated the meeting. Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh, Sara Hossain, Honorary Director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Zakir Hossain, Chief Executive of Nagorik Udyog, Ayesha Khanom, President of Mahila Parishad and  Shaheen Anam, Executive Director of Manusher Jonno foundation, attended the meeting.


Key Concerns : UPR Report Powerpoint Presentation by Sara Hossain

UPR Stakeholders Report - Human Rights Forum Summary

After Sara Hossain presented the key concerns of the UPR Report, Sultana Kamal presented findings from the UPR Report on Child Rights Situation of Bangladesh, which has been submitted by Child Rights Governance Assembly (CRGA).  Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) is also acting as the Secretariat of CRGA. 

Click to Download

 UPR report on Child Rights Situation

 

     

Issues Raised by Delegates

  Ambassador of Denmark , Mr Svend Olling shared his difficulty in understanding how the development in Bangladesh is really evolving, especially comparing the given Agendas and HR Reports. He highlighted three issues of main importance regarding workers rights, in terms of workers safety, questioning corporate rights and opening the field for unions. He also spoke of the Rohingya issue and the demand for capital punishment in the ongoing war crimes tribunal.

 Ambassador of Norway , Mrs. Ragne Birte Lund  expressed her gratitude and the importance to meet the Civil Society before the review in Geneva.

She agreed with her Colleague H.E. Ambassador of Denmark and stated that some of the issues are more acute than others. At the same time she added emphasis on the issue of Capital Punishment and how a dialogue can be started on this.

An important issue she saw as under-represented is the Issue regarding violence against women. Further, she remarked on the lack of follow up from previous recommendations and questioned, ‘’how have the recommendations been used'’? She said, some of them are visible as for example, ‘Maternity Leave’ mentioned in the presentation . She posed the question, ‘’ What kind of actions can be taken and how  the process can be made visible?'’.

Sultana Kamal replied, implementation of laws are very important and unfortunately no mechanism is in place. Violence against women is an important issue and there is a lot of pressure from the women’s rights movements. In general, violence is directly related to empowerment and honor issues. So women’s security is a cultural issue and requires a long drawn change process.

 Answers from the Panel

International Crimes Tribunal and the Trial of the War Criminals

The War crimes and the culture of impunity are the biggest violations against humanity. To end impunity of these perpetrators, they should be given the highest penalty according to the law of the land. Killing, looting, arson and rape in 71 are still live and sensitive issues in our society. It is also important to make sure the trial is transparent.

Rohingyas Issue

The Forum members mentioned that Government is continuously denying to give refuge to the Rohingyas focusing on the economic condition of the country. But this should be considered on humanitarian as well as human rights ground. We have the experience of being refugees during our liberation war. The Forum also informed that they are doing necessary campaigns to change Government’s position about the Rohingyas.  

Workers Rights

Bangladesh is part of the global market and carries a part of the burden to assure basic rights for workers. Unfortunately these particular rights and the workers safety are victims of a corruption culture within the country. At the same time the appeal shouldn’t go only towards the government, but also to the country where the products are sold and brought. The conclusion should be consumer’s awareness and not boycott, because the people here need their jobs. If the countries who import the products, impose strong restrictions it will ultimately violate the human rights of the poor people.  Apart from the garment workers the rights of the domestic workers should be highlighted.

‘’Paper Victories'’

Representative of Save the Children, Birgit Lundbach stated that most of the laws are not implemented. There is still a lack of monitoring mechanisms and no one should be satisfied. She strongly recommended not to rely on paper victories.

Neal Walker, United Nations Resident Co-ordinator stressed that he strongly believes that the state report shouldn’t just be a statement but a commitment.

He asked, ‘’How and where is the Human Rights Forum pushing the Government to be more precise in their own report'’?

He admitted the Bangladesh Government made some positive efforts, however those were not enough given in relation to their own commitments in the first cycle.

 

Jahangir Alam of The National Alliance of Disabled Peoples’ Organisations requested a Braille draft of the Report.

He reminded the participants that twenty two Million People are disabled in Bangladesh, they need laws and implementation of those laws to protect their own rights.

Sultana Kamal apologised to Jahangir Alam who could not follow the presentation due the unavailability of the presentation in braille.

After thanking the diplomats for attending, she concluded the importance of communication with the foreign missions to bring out the concerns of the Human Rights Forum in Bangladesh in front of the Human Rights Council in Geneva where the review session on the human rights situation in Bangladesh will begin on 29th April 2013.

Basic Q&A about the Univeral Periodic Review

Explaining the UPR Process

How the UPR Process developed in Bangladesh in the Last Cycle

Gender and Social Justice Unit held a Conference for PNGO's »

January 22, 2013

Need some attention from someone in GSJ

Annual working Conference for Partner NGO’s from around the country was held today  at CBCB Centre.

No one has explained to me what this event is about so this is all I can write.

 Sometimes I really wonder why it is so difficult to pass information.

Especially how MIA  were preparing this event but I dont even know what they were doing and was not invited to the event.

What is this event adding to the objectives of this organisation?

How is it going to improve the aspect of human rights in Bangladesh?

What are these people doing in the picture?

Wall Magazine Festival Launch | 16th-18th January 2012 | Bangla Academy »

January 15, 2013

Wall Magazine Festival 16-18th January 2013

ASK Human Rights Awareness Unit have the pleasure of supporting the Bangladesh Dewal Patrika Parisad (Wall magazine organsiation) in organising the 6th annual Wall Magazine Festival which is starting on Wednesday 16th January 2013.  The opening ceremony will start at 3pm at the  Bangla Academy in Dhaka.

This vibrant competition invites young participants from the national secondary schools to creatively  illustrate their thoughts and ideas on themes ranging from Bengal heritage, history, folk culture, women’s ongoing struggle for  liberation, effect of the IMF and World bank, the indigenous peoples rights and human rights issues in Bangladesh through imagery, poetry, writings and stories on the walls of the Bangla Academy.

In the past the competition has provided a powerful platform for a creative form of participative democracy allowing the youth to combine their collective imagination and perspectives.

The festival will be inaugurated by award winning novelist, Selina Hossain whose literary works have been translated in to several languages and taught in schools. Other guests are Dr Hameeda Hossain, chairperson of Ain o Salish Kendra, Alam Talukdar, Director of the Public Library and Chairperson of Prajanma Ekattur organisation('’Generation 1971′’), Shahin Reza Noor.

Participants will be attending from around the country to exhibit their competition entries which will be open to the public to view from 9.45am until 6pm at the academy.

There will be two open discussions sessions on Thursday 17th January 2013.

10.00am   Poets,  Joy Prakash Sarker and Shaidullah Foreizi will be starting the open discussions.

3.00pm    Literary personality, Sharmini Abbasi, Journalist, Ashraf Kawser and Film maker, Shamim Akhter.

On Friday, 18th January, the exhibition will be coming to an end.

11.30am  The winners will be announced at the prize ceremony which will be attended by Educationalist,
                Shamoli Nasirin Chowdhury
, Advocate Sultana Kamal, Shamsuzzaman Khan
                and Professor Nasim Akhter Hussain.

We will be attempting to live stream the opening ceremony and discussion sessions which can be viewed by clicking the link or picture.

Photos from last years festival.

   

 

Launch of Draft Universal Periodic Report (UPR) | 26 September 2012 »

September 26, 2012

Powerful Closing Speech by Sultana Kamal

Draft UPR Report Launch

On the 26th September 2012, the draft  report was presented in an event facilitated by Human Rights Forum - Bangladesh in Dhaka.

ASK - Ain o Salish Kendra, the Secreteriat for the Human Rights forum in Bangladesh - a coalition of 19 human rights and development organisations shared findings and stats from the report which is to be submitted as Universal Periodic Review report to the UN Human Rights Council in May 2013.

Slide 1 Slide 2 Sara Hossein Shaidul Haque

The event was facilitated by Sanaiyya Ansari and  introduced by the Mahila Parisad President, Ayesha Khanum, she was also joined on the panel by Hameeda Hossain, Chairperson of ASK.

The draft Universal Periodic Review report  was presented by Sara Hossain, Member of the Steering Committee, Human Rights Forum Bangladesh. 

     

     

The audio of the full presentation is available on the Livestream Channel

Due to technical diffculties the visual display is not clear. 

To see the full presentation document, please click.

     

Special guests : Chairman of NHRC, Mizanur Rahman and Shahidul Hoque from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave their feedback after the report, a short summary can be found below or for their full speeches, go to the livestream channel.

Responses to UPR Report Presentation - 26 Sept 2012 from Third Eye on Vimeo.

The Convenor Advocate Sultana Kamal ended the event with a powerful closing speech addressing points made by the special guests, she highlighted the importance of raising awareness of human rights issues, bringing them in to public dialogue to eventually bring change and justice.

Sultana Kamal in Action - Concluding Remarks in UPR Report Launch from Third Eye on Vimeo.

 '’There is Discrimination, Why Deny it? ‘’

Hameeda Hossain questioned why government had not amended discriminatory personal laws even though the state had ratified CEDAW and other conventions or  the government resorted to lawless methods of law enforcement allowing impunity to RAB and other agencies.  Instead of being defensive  and denying  incidents of extra judicial killings or disappearances  we should be concentrating on how to end the practice of ‘’extra judicial killings’’ all together and implement the constitutional obligation to protect the citizens’ right to life.

Hameeda Hossain - Response to UPR Report & Feedback - 26 Sept 2012 from Third Eye on Vimeo.

Human Rights Forum Members:
Acid Surviviors Foundation (ASF)
Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS)
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum
Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movements (BDERM)
Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies (BILS)
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)
Bangladesh Mohila Porishad (BMP)
Boys of Bangladesh (BOB)
FAIR
Karmojibi Nari (KN)
Kapaeeng Foundation
Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF)
National Alliance of Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (NADPO)
Nagorik Uddyog
Nari Pokkho
Nijera Kori
Steps Towards Development (STEPS)
Transparancy International Bangladesh (TIB)

Workshop on Issue Selection for the UPR Report 2013 »

May 20, 2012

Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5 Slide 6 Slide 7

A two day long workshop on "Issue Selection for UPR Report 2013", organized by Human Rights Forum, Bangladesh (A coalition of 14 human rights and development organizations that committed to protect and promote human rights), held on 19-20 May 2012 at CBCB centre. Advocate Sultana Kamal as convener of the Human Rights Forum inaugurated the workshop. She presented an background of the Human Rights Forum and the UPR process, state obligation and civil society responsibility under this process. She also emphasized on making this instrument effectual to put pressure on the State authority for ensuring better Human Rights situation.

Almost 40 representatives from different organizations participated in the workshop. Among them 28 representatives were from 14 Forum member organizations. Apart from the Forum members Boys of Bangladesh (BoB) and Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS) also participated. Convinced by their interest to work for the rights of the sexually marginalized groups, Forum invited them to participate in the workshop and to contribute in report writing.

For the first time National Human Rights Commission also sent two representatives to the workshop. Prior to the workshop NHRC has shown their interest to take part in the Forum activities relating to the UPR Report submission which will ultimately help to prepare their part of the UPR Report. Kazi Riazul Hoque, the fulltime member of NHRC also attended the workshop and shared with the forum an overview of their process of preparing the UPR Report.

Zakir Hossain, Chief Executive of Nagorik Uddyog and Sanaiyya Faheem Ansari, Senior Deputy Director, ASK facilitated the workshop. The sessions were taken by Sultana Kamal (Ain o Salish Kendra), Khushi Kabir (Nijera Kori), Zakir Hossain (Nagorik Uddyog) , Kazi Riazul Hoque (NHRC), Ranjan Karmaker (Steps towards Development), Dr. Iftekharuzzaman (Transparency International Bangladesh), Sanaiyya Faheem Ansari and Qumrunnessa Nazly.

In these sessions, participants identified their issues of concern for the UPR Report 2013. The issues have then been distributed among the members according to interest and expertise of the respective members to prepare the draft report. They are supposed to submit the draft report to the Secretariat by 30 June. Hana shams Ahmad will compile these reports to finalize the draft. After sharing the final draft with the GoB, the Media, Diplomats and Academicians and by incorporating their feedback, the report will be finalized and sent to The Human Rights Council by October 9, 2012. The review of Bangladesh Human Rights Situation is to held on February 2013 in Geneva.

Ayesha Khanom (Bangladesh Mahila Parishad) announced closing of the workshop with vote of thanks.

Publication of the “Handbook on Complaint Filing Procedure to the National Human Rights Commission” »

April 16, 2012

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) is going to work at the grassroots level on the complaint filing procedure of the National Human Rights Commission. To that end a handbook has been published to provide an easy guideline to the community people. Today, on April 16, 2012, the publication ceremony of the handbook on complaint filing procedure to the National Human Rights Commission took place at 24/C, CBCB Centre, in Asad Avenue on 3 p.m.

The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman was the chief guest in the publication ceremony. Sultana Kamal, the Executive Director of ASK presided over the programme.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was established by the National Human Rights Commission Act 2009 to abridge the people, deprived of rights or victims of violation of rights, with the State. The reconstituted Commission has started working since June 23, 2010. Since its inception, the NHRC’s main concern was to see a human rights culture is created in the society. The Commission believes that to ensure the dignity of human beings, full realization of human rights is essential and to that end culture of human rights is necessary in every sphere of the society.

The need for such a publication on filing complaint to the NHRC has been felt because of requirement of a guideline on how the NHRC can work as a bridge between the State and the stakeholders or the people deprived of their rights. Therefore, it can be said that this publication, as a guideline, is the first step toward fulfillment of this necessity of realization of rights.

This publication is a practical handbook on filing complaint before the NHRC. Those who want to know about the complaint procedure of the NHRC, especially those who are in need of filing a complaint before the Commission directly, are expected to be benefited by this publication. Considering people from all spheres of the society, simplicity has been prioritized in use of language. But ASK does not claim hundred percent success in this work. Rather, that part of evaluation rests with the users of it. ASK expects opinions from the users, which it would consider while publishing the second edition of this work.

A number of methods have been followed in this publication considering selection of issues, use of language etc. As a first step of publication, such a person has been selected as the author of this handbook, who has a long experience of working as a human rights activist and has also intimately worked with the NHRC. The author, Sayeed Ahmad first set a list of contents upon discussion with the staff members of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK). Then a sharing meeting was held on the draft contents of the publication with representatives of some non-governmental organizations in the presence of Dr. Mizanur Rahman, the Chairman and Neerupa Dewan, one of the Members of the NHRC. A good bunch of suggestions were obtained from that discussion which have enriched the contents of this publication. In the next step, the draft handbook was prepared and shared with taskforce members, different professionals, CBO’s in twelve districts of the country (Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Mymensingh, Naogan, Jaipurhat, Jheindah, Pabna, Kushtia, Rajshahi, Sunamganj) with the assistance of grass roots partner organizations of ASK i.e. Manabadhikar Nari Samaj (MNS, organization of women leaders), Manabadhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad (MSP, organization of local opinion leaders including men and women), Manabadhikar Ainjibi Parishad (MAP, organization of local pro-bono lawyers) and members of the local partner organizations. In those places, opinion was collected through a survey with a questionnaire on the simplicity of language of the manual, ease of understanding, coherence of language with the illustrations etc. Based on all the opinions gathered, almost a final version of the handbook had been prepared. At the end, it was finalized by incorporating the suggestions of the Chairman, other Members and concerned officials of the NHRC.

ASK already has formed a taskforce with 108 members of the community organizations from 12 districts. In total 36 persons, three from each district; have been nominated as focal persons for the task force. These 36 focal persons will be trained on the institutional structure of the NHRC, complaint procedure of the Commission and will be instructed on how to use the handbook practically. These members of the taskforce shall systematically record the incidents of human rights violations in their respective areas and will send them to the NHRC.

Divided into four chapters, the publication contains in its first chapter some concepts regarding human rights such as concept of human rights, responsiblities of the State and the citizens in order to ensure human rights. The second chapter contains the powers and mandate of the National Human Rights Commission. The main part of this publication is the third chapter. In this part different aspects of filing complaints in the Commission have been depicted with illustrations and conversations with questions. Especially, answers of the minute questions, such as ‘whether human rights of a person has been violated or not’, ‘on which issues a person or an institution can file a complaint in the Commission and what procedure should be followed’, ‘which of the issues are beyond the powers and jurisdicition of the National Human Rights Commission’ etc. could be found in this chapter. In the last part of the publication some important documents including the biography of each member of the Commission, the National Human Rights Commission Act 2009, the ‘form’ for filing complaints in the Commission have been annexed.

Bangladesh, where violations of human rights have been taking place in a continuous manner, and where there are violations that could not be stopped yet by the legal machineries of the State; it is expected that this handbook will play an important role in strengthening the modes of realization of human rights. The human rights defenders can have a clear idea about their work by using this handbook. At the same time, the people at large will know about the procedure of filing complaints before the Commission. As a result, the task of filing complaint before the Commission following proper procedure would be relatively easier and more expeditious. In addition to that the movement of establishing a human rights culture in the society would be strenthened.

Invitation to Celebrate Bangla Sign Language Day on 07 February 2012 »

February 1, 2012

Dear Friend
Greetings from SDSL!
SDSL has planned to commemorate Bangla Sign Language Day for the first time on next 07 February, 2012 at TSC, Sarakdip, Dhaka University at 3.00pm. Hearing impaired people will lead a rally at Central Shaheed Minar to TSC, hearing impaired children’s art competition, cultural program by children with disabilities and open discussion will organized to celebrate the Bangla Sign Language Day.

On 26 January, 2012 at 03.30pm, Ministry of Social Welfare conducted an inter-ministerial meeting on Bangla Sign Language Day. The Ministry decided through the meeting to commemorate ‘Bnagla Sign Language Day ‘ as categorized a ‘C’ grade national day on 07 February each year. The ministry will send a summary note to cabinet division for approval to celebrate the Day. The hearing impaired community is eagerly waiting for the declaration.

01 February, 2009 Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recognized that Bangla Sign Language is a language of Bangladesh. After the declaration of Prime Minister, Persons with hearing impaired the largest community among the persons with disabilities in Bangladesh were demanding to commemorate 01 February as Bangla Sign LanguageDay. It was 30 October in 2009, SDSL organized an opinion sharing meeting with 28 Deaf Associations. Deaf leaders at the meeting were demanded to commemorate such a day to recognize their diversity and to ensure their rights & dignity.

‘Bangla Sign Language Day’ is a Day for the persons with hearing impairments in Bangladesh. Bangla Sign Language is the first language of three million hearing impaired people in Bangladesh. In aspects of its users, this is 2nd largest language of Bangladesh. Language is the only barrier for the persons with hearing impairment. On the other side, Sign Language is the most significant characteristic of them. So, Bangla Sign Language, the diversity of persons with hearing impairment is the most important issue to move them forward as well as to ensure their rights and dignities.

Meanwhile, Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed all the TV channels to broadcast their news in Bangla Sign Language in 2009. Presently Bangladesh Television is broadcasting its news at 2.00pm, 5.00pm & 6.00pm and Desh TV broadcasting their news at 7.30pm in Bangla Sign language every day.

We are requesting you to join with us and celebrate Bangla Sign Language Day for the first time. This will be the start to break the seclusion between the hearing impaired community and the hearing community.
with regards

Santanu Dey

Coordinator
Society of the Deaf & Sign Language Users (SDSL)
<http://bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&mid=8100&rtp=%7Eadr.2-G%2F8%2C+Ring+Road%2C+%28Golden+Street%29%2C+Shamoli%2C+Dhaka%2C+Bangladesh%2C+1207>2-G/8, Ring Road, (Golden Street), Shamoli,
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1207.
Phone No: 0088-02-8127177
Cell No: 0088-01921487312
Break the Seclusion

Human Rights Situation in Bangladesh 2011: A review of ASK »

January 1, 2012

A press conference was organized on 1st January 2012 by Ain o Salish Kendra(ASK) On "A review of ASK on Human Rights Situation in Bangladesh 2011"

Read the written speech in Bangla
Read the written speech in English

 

2nd Day of ASK’s 25 Years Celebration Observed: Commitment to Establish Good Governance and Justice »

September 24, 2011

The last day of celebration of 25 years of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) that started with the theme–Keeping promises, defending Beliefs, Protesting injustices & Redressing Inequality ended on Saturday after the two-day long programme with the commitment to establish good governance and justice.

Today, on September 24, 2011, Saturday, the last day of the celebration started with the songs of the legendary five-poets at 3.30 pm in Rabindra Sarobar stage of Dhanmondi. In the cultural programme, songs, dances and recitations were presented by the employees of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) and their family members. The cultural programme ended with the drama “Tasher Desh” by Rabindranath Tagore.

The Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Sultana Kamal said in her welcome speech, it is not only upon the human rights organizations to work for human rights, rather everyone has a role to play from his or her own position; she expected. Addressing the new generation, she said, we should uphold the spirit of humanity, since we are born as human beings and all of us should join together in the struggle for human rights. This joining can lead us to freedom.

The Executive Director of Democracy Watch, Taleya Rahman, who came to congratulate Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) on its 25 years, said that everyone should involve in the struggle for human rights from his or her own sense of responsibility. The Chief Executive of the non-government development organization, Nagorik Uddog, Jakir Hossain and Jinnat Ara of We Can were also present among others to congratulate ASK.

Celebrating 25 years of ASK: Commitment to Protect Human Rights and to Establish a Human Rights Friendly Culture »

September 23, 2011

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) begins its two-day long programme celebrating 25 years of the organization with the theme - Keeping promises, defending Beliefs, Protesting injustices & Redressing Inequality.

Today, on September 23, 2011, the programme of the day started with a colourful rally that started from the south gate of the Jatio Sangsad Bhaban at 3.30 pm and ended at Chhayanat Sangskriti Bhaban. The discussion started with the national anthem. Sultana Kamal, the Executive Director of ASK, said in her welcome speech, on this special occassion we should embrace the slogan of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) to move forward in the struggle for human rights, where our national anthem will inspire us. She also said, the present human rights situation in Bangladesh is not pleasant, so this country should be transformed to one, in which there will be no discrimination, deprivation or torture, we should raise our protest from that commitment. The renowned human rights activist of South Asia, Sunila Abeysekera was the main discussant in the programme. While unveiling the cover of ASK’s 25 years publication “Atmoprotikriti”, the distinguished human rights actiivist urged to strengthen the commitment to protect human rights and establish a human rights culture in South Asia. The human rights activist from Sri Lanka also stated that we should move forward for equality, justice and peace. We should ensure security for women and children in the context of global climate change. Moreover, she urged the governement to defend the conditions for effective democracy, stand against fake elections, take effective steps against overwhelming corruption, to protect the rights of the ethnic minorities and to implement the provisions of the Chittagong Hill Tract Accord. She emphasized rule of law, independence of the judiciary and freedom of press in establishing a human rights friendly culture. These will safeguard human rights and establish a human rights culture along with strengthening democratic values in the society. She also said that the pattern of human rights violation in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh has been the similar.

The speakers in the discussion mentioned that Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) did not surrender to any evil force and advanced with courage in its journey of last 25 years. They urged ASK to move on with this bravery.

Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Advocate Z I Khan Panna, founder member M A Khaleque, the Executive Director of TIB Iftekharuzzaman addressed the audience during the session.

The founder member of ASK, Barrister Amir-ul Islam who presided the session, emphasized on establishing human rights. He also said that we achieved independence, but have not achieved good governance yet. We should identify the obstacles to ensure good governance and the agencies responsible for violation of human rights should be made accountable by the rule of law.

Distinguished citizens, cultural personalities, representatives from the non-government development organizations and well wishers including the founder members of ASK were present in the celebration of 25 years of ASK.

The programme of the first day ended with cultural programme and drama “Tasher Desh” presented and staged by the ASK activists.

Press Conference on Celebrating 25 years of ASK »

September 21, 2011

Dear Audience and Our Journalist Friends,
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has completed its 25 years on September 20, 2011. Considering certain matters we have decided to celebrate the occassion on 23rd and 24th of this month instead of 20th. A journey of 25 years definitely bears great importance for an organization. Therefore, we would like to thank you and all our well wishers on this occassion.

In the decade of eights, when democracy, rule of law and human rights in the country were at stake under the autocratic regime, during that dark episode of this country, some distinguished citizens, namely Barrister Salma Sobhan, Advocate Aminul Huq, Justice K M Sobhan, Dr. Hameeda Hossain, Barrister Amir-ul Islam, Md. Abdul Khaleque, Fazle Hasan Abed, Khurshid Erfan Ahmed and Taherunnerssa Abdullah stated a human rights and legal aid organization named Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) in 1986 with the perseverance of establishising the rights of the people. With its brave and relentless effort Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has placed itself among the leading human rights organization of the country. ASK has also attained international reputation for its works in protecting and promoting human rights.

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has been working to create an enabling social condition in favour of human rights, rule of law, secularism, social justice and democratic values. Since its inception ASK has been dedicated to protect the fundamental human rights of the citizen along with providing legal aid to women, children and the poor and disadvantanged section of the society – in this journey of 25 years ASK has been actively involved in differnt national and international issues regarding human rights. At one stage ASK has achieved the special consultative status of the UN ECOSOC. Along with ensuring access to justice by providing legal aid to the disadvantaged people, this organization, from its own experience and realization, has moved forward to bring necessary reforms in the existing laws and administrative system. ASK intensely feels the importance of social awareness and proactive thoughts to wipe out the century old superstition, narrowness and discrimination from the society. From this motivation, the organization has been fostering progressive social thoughts and democratic values along with making people aware of their rights. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) believes that one candle will lit many others enlightening the whole society.

Dear Journalists,
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) has been a strong protestor agaisnt all kinds of violation of human rights including torture and violence against women and children, extra-judicial punishment in the name of fatwa, custodial torture, repression on religious and other minorities, deprivation of the ethnic minorities from their rights, eviction of slums without any alternative arrangement, violence against workers. Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) vigorously protests and seeks redress to any violation of human rights caused by the state or non-state actors.

While protesting and preventing human rights violation, ASK also dreams of developing a human rights sensitive culture based on the sense of gender equality, through true democratization in all spheres of the society and the state as well as active participation of the people. In order to realize the dream, ASK has been engaged in raising awareness through publication, training, workshop, drama etc. At the same time it is trying to raise awareness through articles, opinions etc. in the leading newspapers. Every year ASK publishes annual Human Rights Report on Bangladesh. In addition to that it also publishes quarterly Bulletins and different issue based publication on a regular basis. ASK’s significant publications include Terrorism, Medical Negligence, RAB, Narir Ekattor o Juddho Poroborty Kathyakahini, Terrorist Activities in Bangladesh and Trial, Her Unfearing Mind, Public Interest Litigation, War Crime, Women and Good Governance in South Asia, Children Cry Alone, My World, Internally Displaced People in Bangladesh, United Nation’s Human Rights System, Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Bangladesh etc.

 In its long journey of 25 years ASK has provided a huge number of people with legal aid. At the same time it has been persistently working with like minded organizations and individuals in order to change the discriminatory system, custom, law and structure prevailing in the society, state and within the family. This long journey of ASK is a mixed experience of success and limitations.

Inflicting extra-judicial punishment in the name of fatwa has been declared illegal by the apex court. The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010, the Suppression of Torture on Women and Children Act 2000 (amended in 2003), the Human Rights Commission Act 2009, the Right to Information Act 2009 have been enacted. The High Court Division of the Supreme Court has given many land mark decisions on different issues including those against slum eviction without prior rehabilitation, custodial torture during police remand, physical and mental punishment in the educational institutions. ASK had been actively involved in all the cases. 

The Judiciary has been separated from the Executive, the National Human Rights Commission has been established- all these are the recent achievements of the nation and ASK played a vital role behind them.

Despite all these achievements numerous incidents of human rights violations are reported everyday. The constitutional recognition demanded by the ethnic minorities has been ignored for a long time. The equal rights of women has not been achieved yet. Children are subjected to child labour and torture. Violence against women has increased, the state organs still lack true democratization, the activities of fundamentalist terrorists have not declined, the war crimes trial has not finished yet, extra-judicial punishment in name of fatwa or cross-fire has not been stopped, nor had been stopped disappearance, abduction, custodial torture in the name of police remand.

We believe that collective participation of all is necessary to overcome the situation. It can be achieved through willingness, dedicated effort and effective steps of all the people both included in and excluded from the power structure, and above all, through establishing a culture of accountability. This should be done not for us only, rather considering the future of the next generation, gratifying the debt we owe to the martyr freedom fighters, tortured women, deprived people and the martyrs in the movement for democracy.

Journalists Friends,
In the long journey of 25 years of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) many have actively participated in its activities for human rights. Its founders, the members, workers, comrades of our struggles and movements who have challenged the injustice or discrimination in their own lives and gave us an opportunity to stand beside them; the achievements of 25 years is dedicated to them. Today we specially remember our collegues including Barrister Salma Sobhan, Advocate Aminul Huq, Justice K M Sobhan and many others, who are no more in this world.   

We do believe that credit for the achievements, whatsoever, in the improvement of human rights situation in Bangladesh and towards building a society and state based on the principles of human rights and gender equality, does not go solely to this organization, rather the credit also goes to the individuals and organizations who work for human rights. Today, while celebrating 25 years of ASK we want to convey this message to all of you, let us retain these achievements and move forward. We do not want to keep the celebration of 25 years of ASK confined to our programmes only. We want to make it an occassion to reaffirm our promise and commitment for human rights.

With a view to make this point of time a memorable one, when Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) completes 25 years, different activities and programmes have been arranged throughout 2011. Along with different initiatives round the year, such as poster, souvenir, other publications, study circles, workshops, trainings etc. a two-day programme has also been arranged on September 23 and 24, 2011.

The detailed schedule of the programme is given below:
September 23, Friday, Day-1, Chhayanat Sangskriti Bhaban, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

1st Session: Colourful Rally celbrating 25 years of ASK
3.30 pm: From the South Gate of Jatio Shangshad to Chhayanat Sangskriti Bhaban

2nd Session: Discussion and Cultural Programme
5.00 pm             National Anthem
5.10 pm             Reception of the Guests 
5.20 pm             Welcome Speech by the Executive Director
5.25 pm             Speech by the Founder Members and Well Wishers
6.00 pm             Speech by the Main Discussant
6.20 pm             Formal Inauguration of ASK’s Publication on 25 years,
                           “Atmoprotikriti“
6.30 pm             Speech by the Chair
6.35 pm             Music
6.50 pm             Drama,“Tasher Desh“ (a presentation by the ASK employees)
                          
The discussion session will be chired by Amir-ul Islam, Barrister-at-Law, Founder Member, ASK.

September 24, Saturday, Day-2, Rabindra Sorobor Stage, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
3.30 pm             Songs of the Lengendary 5 poets
4.15 pm             Welcome speech by the Executive Director
4.20 pm             Speech by the Well Wishers
4.50 pm             Cultural Programme presented by the ASK employees and their family members

5.35 pm         Drama,“Tasher Desh“ (a presentation by the ASK employees)

Press conference on 'The Ongoing Trend of Lawlessness and Mob Justice' »

July 23, 2011

Dear Friends and Journalists,
We have convened this press conference in the context of some recent occurrences in the country. Analysis of the incidents will show the precision of our apprehension. We, the human rights activists have been conveying with grave concern and fear for the last couple of years that eventually we are heading to a society where the people will show the tendency to act lawlessly with no pertinence to their judgment and conscience, and the security of life of every person will be at stake. People from different strata of the society, irrespective of gender, religion, caste and class will become victim of this. Either, by totally disregarding the judicial procedure or by undue interference thereto, whoever would be in a position of power, will oppress the innocent and less powerful ones; whereas, on the other hand, the persons found undoubtedly guilty in judicial proceeding will remain beyond the reach of law. That means we are about to experience a scenario, completely opposite to the basic principle of law and justice i.e. “Elimination of the Evil, Protection of the Virtuous” and those who will act arbitrarily and lawlessly will enjoy impunity. 

The death of six students in mob beating at Aminbazar of Savar on July 18, 2011 has shocked the conscience of the entire nation. The killing of these six young men, by beating them to death on suspicion of robbery has displayed complete degeneration of the humanitarian values of a civilized country. A friend of the six young victims, Al-Amin who survived the barbaric attack, informed that the local people had beaten his friends to death in the presence of police. From his statement it was also revealed that surprisingly police said to the unruly mob, “It will create trouble if you kill all of them, at least spare one.” Thus Al-Amin was left alive as the villagers stopped beating him following the instruction of the policeman. We believe, such occurrence of beating six young men to death in the presence of police is the consequence of people’s frustration concerning the law enforcement mechanism of the country in controlling law and order situation and failure of the government to restore people’s faith in the same. Filing a robbery case by the police after the death of the six victims has further questioned the role of police in the incident.

On July 19, 2011 Babu Chakravarty of Musapur Union, at Bandar thana in Narayanganj district, was severely beaten with tree branches by the local U.P. Chairman in front of hundreds of people and forced to walk for two kilometers with a brick suspended from his penis; in a so called arbitration on allegation of marrying a girl from different caste. Critically injured Babu is now fighting his death at Pongu Haspatal, Dhaka. The local police, despite being informed of the occurrence, did not take any legal step against the perpetrators on the excuse that “no one has lodged a written complaint for it”; whereas, the police is bound to take legal action as soon as they receive any information regarding commission of any criminal offence.

On June 26, 2011 two women, named Happy and Shahida, were inhumanly tortured in an open arbitration session led by the local U.P. Chairman at Badarganj of Rangpur district. That arbitration was arranged on the allegation that Happy was responsible for her husband’s suicide. Happy’s friend Shahida Begum was also tortured as she supported Happy. The local police, though initially informed, abstained from taking any prompt action in a similar fashion on the excuse that none has lodged a formal complaint. Although police recorded the case as the Women Affairs Officer of Badarganj thana filed an ejahar (written complaint), but still none of the perpetrators has been arrested. The arbitrators did not even allow Happy and Shahida to receive treatment. Moreover, they threatened them that they would be evicted from the village. They threatened Happy that they would kill her parents, brother and children. The local police could not also do anything, when the arbitrators severely beaten the journalists of ETV in presence of police, after a few days of the occurrence. In addition to that the elected representative of the area has been evidently engaged in shaping public opinion in favour of the arbitrators, providing express assistance and shelter to them. Later on, the journalists had been rescued with the intervention from the superior authority of police. We came to know that even yesterday, the said MP went to Kashiganj village of Badarganj and presented cows to Happy and Shahida and reiterated his statement that a trivial incident has been unnecessarily bubbled up and, for this, he blamed the journalists who reported the incident.

Journalists Friends,
From the video footage and other sources, you also know how Happy and Shahida had been brutally tortured. Can anyone be released from the accusation of supporting the perpetrators by claiming the incident to be a trivial one? In our opinion, such an irresponsible comment by an elected representative will encourage the rise of criminal activities in the society.

A female student of class seven in Ilias Ahammed Chowdhury High School at Shibchar thana of Madaripur district was sexually harassed, and as the local U.P. Chairman had been informed of the matter, the Chairman and the Principal of the said school called an arbitration and punished both the girl and the stalker with 50 lashes each, on June 30, 2011. As the father of the victim girl objected to such punishment, he was also threatened to be beaten.

On July 16, 2011 at Sonagazi upazila of Feni district, a person named Abdul Huq was beaten to death in an arbitration arranged with regard to a family dispute, as he differed to the decision of the arbitrators.

The incidents described above features that in most of the cases the administration and the police force did not take any immediate step to either stop or redress the acts of torture, anarchism, brutality and degradation of human dignity, and did not do anything to arrest the perpetrators despite having sufficient time and scope to do that. Rather in most of the cases although they had been forced to perform their duty, for their lethargy and negligence, the degree of sufferings of the people has been increased, the perpetrators were allowed to enjoy impunity and the number and degree of crime have risen. Here the administration and the police can be blamed for their lack of care. At the same time, there are complaints of undue influence upon them. From both sides, it is the nation who suffers. Hence, it can be said that the law enforcing agency has miserably failed to perform their duty properly. In case of pronouncing fatwa or arbitration, it has been observed that the local representatives, religious clerics and other socially influential persons, showing total disregard to the constitution and law of the land and avoiding the judicial system, have engaged themselves in torture, even in killing, in the name of delivering justice; on the other hand, mass people are inconsiderately getting involved in killing out of mere suspicion; similarly, the law enforcing agencies also, are involved in extra judicial killing or showing extreme negligence or reluctance to prevent the perpetrators. In addition to that, the perpetrators with their various influences have assured impunity for themselves. As a result, the people at large have started to distrust or neglect the judicial process; on the other hand, extra judicial activities, torture and killing have attained acceptance in the society. This is very unfortunate, unexpected and shameful. As a nation, we are not willing to bear this disgrace. Therefore, today we have presented some facts regarding some recent incidents that will help to establish the logic of our argument and through you, we urge all the people of conscience, from all spheres and positions, to increase citizens’ awareness against and to protest such incidents.
Dear Journalists,
In the cases of torture in the name of arbitrations, the local representatives and the chairmen of the local Union Council played the leading role. According to the Local Government (Union Council), Act 2009 the Chairman is entrusted with the responsibility to control the law and order. But this is unfortunately true instead of that, they participated in crimes by trying, punishing and executing their orders. Influential members of the society and the government including the M.P.s rendered support to the miscreants and made the situation more critical and the victims of crime and torture have been deprived of justice. As a result the people at large in utter desperation and frustration are provoked and encouraged to act arbitrarily and lawlessly. We want this trend to end for the sake of human rights, good governance and democracy and look forward to your cooperation for this. 

Dear Journalists Friends
We make the following demands to the government to uphold the practice of democracy, establish rule of law and to ensure human rights

    • To direct the police and the local administration so that none can act arbitrarily and lawlessly, and to ensure punitive measures in case of any violation;
    • To issue clear directives to the police and the local representatives (Union Councils and Municipalities) so that they take effective measures in prevention of crime, in the light of the Local Government (Union Council) Act, 2009 and the directives of the Hon’ble Appellate Division of the Supreme Court;
    • To issue directives to the police administration, union councils and municipal authorities, so that they take effective steps to create awareness at the local level regarding the Supreme Court’s judgment that declares inflicting punishment to any person in the name of Fatwa as a punishable offence;
    • To start awareness campaign through different mass-media including television that arbitrary and lawless acts and inflicting punishment to any person in the name of Fatwa are offences punishable under the law.
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