Bangladesh: Abduction attempt of Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan, ASK Director of Investigation

16/05/2014
Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed with great concern by Odhikar and Ain-o-Salish Kendra (ASK) about the abduction attempt of Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan, Director of Investigation at ASK, in Dhaka.

BGD 002 / 0514 / OBS 042
Abduction attempt
Bangladesh
May 16, 2014

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Bangladesh.

Brief description of the situation:

According to the information received, on May 15, 2014, at around 5.10pm, Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan left ASK office in Lalmatia, Dhaka. He got a rikshaw (manually paddled three wheeler) with another colleague, and they were just a few yards away from the office when a white microbus obstructed the rickshaw. Being suspicious, Mr. Nur Khan quickly got down from the rickshaw and ran back to ASK office. His colleague noticed five to six people aged around 30 inside the microbus.

The Observatory strongly condemns the abduction attempt of Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan, and fears that it merely aims at sanctioning his human rights activities. Along with his organisation, Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan has always been very vocal against human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, in Bangladesh, in particular those committed by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) since its inception in 2010.

Recently, Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan observed that he was constantly followed by a person on a motorbike, who was even inquiring about his movements at the office reception. In this context of insecurity, Mr. Nur Khan had already filed, on April 20, 2014 a General Diary (No 1557) with Mohammadpur police station. After the incident of May 15, he filed another General Diary (No 1250).

The Observatory urges the authorities of Bangladesh to conduct an immediate, thorough, effective, and impartial investigation in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a civil competent and impartial tribunal and apply the penal sanctions provided by the law, as well as to adopt urgent measures to protect and guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan and, more generally, of all human rights defenders in Bangladesh.

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities in Bangladesh, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mohammad Nur Khan as well as of all human rights defenders in Bangladesh;

ii. Order an immediate, thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned facts, the result of which must be made public, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before a competent and impartial civil tribunal and apply to them the penal sanctions provided by the law;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in Bangladesh and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals;

iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially:

- its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as

- its Article 12.2, which provides that the State shall “take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of his or her rights”;

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Bangladesh.

Addresses:

· Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Gona Bhaban, Old Sangsad Bhaban, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax: +880 2 8113243, Email: pm@pmo.gov.bd

· Professor Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Adviser to the Prime Minister (International Affairs), Old Sangsad Bhaban, Tejgaon, Dhaka 1215, Bangladesh. Fax: +880 2 9111312
Email: advinternational@pmo.gov.bd

· Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan, State Minister for Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat Building 8, 1st and 3rd florr, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax: +880 2 9515541. Email: stateminister@mha.gov.bd

· Mr. Anisul Huq, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax: +880 2 7168557

· Md. Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Segun Bagicha, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. Fax: +880 2 9562188. Email: fm@mofa.gov.bd

· Mr. Mahbubey Alam, Attorney General for Bangladesh, Attorney General’s Office, Supreme Court Premises, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: adv_mahbubey@yahoo.com

· H.E. Mr. Abdul Hannan, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations in Geneva, 65 rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 738 46 16, E-mail: mission.bangladesh@ties.itu.int

· Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Brussels, 29-31 rue J. Jordaens, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 646 59 98; Email: bdootbrussels@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Bangladesh in your respective country as well as to the EU diplomatic missions or embassies in Bangladesh.

Read more
appelobs