Arbitrary detention / Ill-treatments - BGD 001 / 0107 / OBS 010

30/01/2007
Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed by the Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE) about the arbitrary detention of Mr. Shahidul Islam, a leading human rights defender on land, water and river issues in the southwest region of Bangladesh, and Executive Director of the development NGO Uttaran, based in Satkhira and which works in favour of the rights of the landless people. In particular, Mr. Shahidul Islam has been campaigning for years against the Khulna-Jessore Drainage Rehabilitation Project (KJDRP), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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 January 27, 2006, military members picked Mr. Shahidul Islam from the training centre of Uttaran in Tala Upazilla and brought him to an interrogation cell, where he has allegedly been tortured. On the same day, the military handed Mr. Islam to the local police station.

It has to be recalled that on January 11, 2007, President Iajuddin Ahmed proclaimed a state of emergency in the face of violent political protests and a multiparty alliance threatening to blockade voting places before the planned 22 January elections, which were then indefinitely postponed. Under the state of emergency, some *
Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser, Head of the Interim Government, Fax : +880 2 8113243, Email: Info@pmo.gov.bd
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Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat Building 4, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: mediacell@homemin-bd.org
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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: info@minlaw.gov.bd
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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
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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@freegates.be
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Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser, Head of the Interim Government, Fax : +880 2 8113243, Email: Info@pmo.gov.bd
*
Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat Building 4, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: mediacell@homemin-bd.org
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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: info@minlaw.gov.bd
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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
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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@freegates.be

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Bangladesh in your respective countries.

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Geneva - Paris, January 30, 2006

Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax: FIDH : +33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 33 (0) 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT : + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 (0) 22 809 49 29
Email : Appeals@fidh-omct.org

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