Thursday, November 12, 2009

BDR Mutiny : BKA Endorses the Concerns of Amnesty International for Fair Trials to Ensure Justice for Victims and Investigation of Torture in Custody

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

Embargoed until 00.01 on 12 November 2009


Bangladesh: Fair trials needed to ensure justice for victims of mutiny

The Bangladesh government must ensure justice for the victims of the February 2009 BDR mutiny by ensuring that all suspects receive a fair trial, Amnesty International said in a report released today.

Looking for Justice: Mutineers on trial in Bangladesh carries testimony from family members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) accused of participating in the mutiny. These reports suggest that scores, possibly hundreds of BDR personnel had suffered torture, for possible involvement in the mutiny. Nearly all were denied the opportunity to seek the assistance of a lawyer for weeks or months.

Amnesty International condemns the unlawful killings, hostage taking and other human rights abuses committed during the mutiny and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The government of Bangladesh has an opportunity to reinforce trust in the rule of law by ensuring the civilian courts, which will be trying the accused, deliver justice.

“The mutiny was brutal and led to the killing of civilians, and army officers who died in horrific circumstances. It’s vital that the government of Bangladesh brings the perpetrators of these crimes to justice in a manner that is compatible with international law,” said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh Researcher.

Following the mutiny, thousands of BDR personnel were confined to barracks and denied all contact with the outside world. Reports soon emerged as family members began to meet the detainees, alleging that scores, possibly hundreds of BDR personnel had suffered human rights violations, including torture, for possible involvement in the mutiny.

“Looking for justice” documents the methods of torture used including depriving suspects of sleep over a number of days, subjecting suspects to beatings and the use of pliers to crush testicles, inserting needles under suspect’s nails and administering electric shocks.

“The reports of torture that Amnesty International has received are consistent with the previously documented torture and ill treatment of detainees in Bangladesh. It’s not good enough for the authorities to deny that torture isn’t taking place. There needs to be greater accountability on this issue.” said Abbas Faiz.

At least 20 BDR personnel died in custody between 9 March and 6 May 2009 alone. BDR sources claimed that four of them committed suicide, seven died of heart attacks and another nine died from diseases. By 10 October 2009, the total number of BDR Personnel who have died in custody has risen to 48.

Amnesty International welcomes the Supreme Court’s clarification that army courts martial have no jurisdiction to try BDR personnel accused of mass killings and other criminal offences during the February 2009 mutiny.

The government must also reconsider its decision to use Speedy Trial Tribunal because the time limit these courts impose for the completion of the trial may lead to a miscarriage of justice.


Amnesty International urges the government of Bangladesh to ensure that:

- Those suspected of committing crimes must be brought to justice under internationally recognized fair trial standards which include the right to family visits and access to lawyers.

- All allegations of torture must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice in fair trials. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, regardless of the nature of the crime, and urges the Bangladeshi authorities not to seek the death penalty.

- the government must examine the capacity of the judicial system and if necessary seek assistance from relevant international bodies, to ensure that the criminal justice system has the competencies and resources – and the judges have the necessary training to conduct the trails of such a large number of BDR defendants in accordance with the international standards of fair trail.

- Bangladesh should ratify the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and designate or establish National Preventive Mechanisms in accordance with the Protocol.

Background

Large-scale mutiny at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka on 25 February 2009 brought fears of an emerging BDR coup and a possible violent counter offensive by the army. The mutineers killed at least 74 people, including six civilians (three women and three men) and 57 army officers seconded to work as BDR commanders, one army soldier, and nine Jawans (lowest BDR rank). Thousands of BDR personnel accused of these killings are now in detention awaiting trial.

Ends


Public Document
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

03 April 2007 Speech at Gothe Inst : The Common Patrimony of Mankind - The Beauty of Unity in Diversity

Speech At Goethe-Institut Auditorium, Dhaka, 03 April 2007
The Common Patrimony of Mankind:
The Beauty of Unity in Diversity
- Kazi Azizul Huq, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon

Special Guests, Discussants, Audience and the Organizers of the Event at the German Cultural Center,


Ladies & Gentlemen,

Today is the Second Day of the current four day event on Architecture & Religion at the German Cultural Center. I specially thank Mr. Torsten Oertel, Director of German Cultural Center, for inviting me to the discussion titled "The Patrimony of Mankind : Beauty of Unity in Diversity" .

I am an activist of Political Islam and of Quaumi Madrasa System. In the Post Nine Eleven era when Political Islam and Quaumi Madrasa are issues of controversy, I am specifically grateful to the Goethe-Institut for inviting me to speak in this event. I think, Goethe-Institute by inviting me, knowing my difference of opinion, has demonstrated their sincere commitment to the Beauty of Unity in Diversity.

I am an activist of Khelafat Andolon. Our late leader Hazrat Maulana Mohammadullah Hafezzi Huzur (Peace be upon him) used to say :"Muslims are my brethren in Faith, and non-Muslims are my kin, because all human being are children of Adam and Eve (Peace and Blessings of God be upon them)."

God says: "O you men! surely I have created you of a male (i.e. Adam, Peace & Blessings of God be upon him) and a female ( i.e. Eve, Peace & Blessings of God be upon her), and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely to Allah the most honorable of you is the one among you who is most careful (about Divine Will); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware ." (Quran 49:13).

Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings of God be upon him) said in the Sermon of his Last Hajj: "All mankind is from Adam and Eve (Peace & Blessings of God be upon them), an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action."

All sides need to rationally study the true causes of today's conflict with Islam & Muslims – how much for religion-culture-ethnicity, how much for greed of others' wealth , how much for greed of expansion of domination on others, how much for ego and arrogance, how much for misinterpretation and disinformation, how much for ignorance, how much for blindness, how much for misunderstanding each other. Sometime unfair step of one party may provoke the other to pursue unfair way.

Those who are more powerful and privileged are to act more responsibly than those who are weaker and under-privileged. If the powerful and privileged ones misuse their power and privileges, shall be deprived of their power and privileges today or tomorrow.

Human being is blessed with the acumen to minutely measure and analyze the subjects and objects within human range. Such as the goldsmith's scale can weigh small pieces of gold and silver. But if one wants to weigh the Himalayan Mountain by a goldsmith's scale, it would be impossible. It does not mean that the goldsmith's scale is imperfect. Similarly even though a human mind is perfect and measures without error yet can not know the origin of God, such as a goldsmith's scale can not weigh the Himalayan Mountain. I believe in God; I spend time in the company of the beloved ones of God; I try to walk in compliance with the Will of God.

We have been trying to promote intercommunity relationship among Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Christians – so that mutual trust and compassion increases. Sri Sanjeeb Chowdhury, the founder Vice President of the Bangladesh Inter-Religious Council for Peace and Justice (BICPAJ), has been included in the Central Executive Committee of Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon as an Advisor; Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon is in Dialogue with the Interfaith Strength of American Jewish Committee (AJC). In identifying good and bad, sin and virtues - we all communities have great similarities. Most of our religions are based on theism. But in our today's world most of the ruling elite of all communities and nations are under heavy influence of atheism & materialism of European civilization. Consequently the basis of Unity of the Mankind has been weakened. We have taken an initiative so that all beloved ones of God of all communities having Faith in and dependence on Almighty God can move forward to lead the mankind through evaluation of good deeds and implementation of justice.

When there was nothing, Great God was present. Great God is the source of everything in the creation. Unity, disunity, contradiction, difference, conflict, fight, truce – whatever there are in the creation, visible or invisible – everything is controlled by Great God. We understand or not, we like or dislike – Unity centering Great God exist. Therefore, we see a wonderful Unity in Diversity in the nature and creation. Great God has Blessed humankind with will power, intelligence and more efficient physical body. I believe, if the Mankind uses its freedom and higher qualities not to rebel against Great God but to fulfill His expectations then our diversity and differences will turn into success, beauty and bliss.


May Great God forgive us and make us well-wisher of each other despite our diversity and differences. Amin. Wassalam.

-Kazi Azizul Huq, International Affairs Secretary, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon
E-mail: kahuq.bka@gmail.com, khelafat@dhaka.net, Cell: 01819-407963
Khelafat Andolon

In the Sub-continent Maulana Sheikh Abdus Salam is an important Force of Peace Against Violent Tactics and Extra-Judicial Killings

10 Nov.2009

In the evening of 2nd November 2009 Maulana Sheikh Abdus Salam was shown arrested and on 6 days police (CID) remand in the case of 21 August grenade blast at Awami League meet in Dhaka. At the end of 6 days remand he has again been taken on 4 days remand.

The authorities know very well that Maulana Salam is innocent. Yet they acted under a pre-determined agenda pushed by foreign intelligence and instigated by their local mercenaries and collaborators in the media and civil society (viz. Ain Shalish Kendra ASK, Hotline Bangladesh, Daily Star Group, Reporters Unity - all receive fund and guidance from DFID and British intelligence) .

The truth is that in the Sub-continent Maulana Sheikh Abdus Salam is an important force of peace against violent tactics and extra-judicial killings.


01 Nov.2009

At about 10 a.m. of 1st November 2009 Chief of Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) Maulana Sheikh Abdus Salam for the Second time was abducted by government agents in civil dress from the premises of Dhaka Court after he had duly attended the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate-2. He was on bail granted by High Court.

He duly arrived at the Dhaka Court and met his lawyer in the early morning i.e. 9:30 a.m. and completed his formal appearance before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate-2. After he had left the court room his lawyer went to another court room and Maulana Salam was alone on his way to leave the court premises. Reliable sources informed that Maulana Salam was abducted by government agents at around 10:15 a.m.

Lawyers informed us that in recent days many people have been abducted by Government agents in similar way and are kept in unknown custody for weeks without producing in any court - and after such illegal custody one day the victim is produced to the court as accused in any old bad case.

We are worried whether any foreign or local vested interest wants to eliminate Maulana Salam since he is the key person for our efforts to engage religious Muslims in non-violent civil movement.

Torture in Custody to compel the victim to sign false statement created by government agents as per pre-determined agenda continues to be a serious problem in Bangladesh.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

If the liberal space for Islamic clerics and activists is not shrunken, they are unlikely to choose the path of armed struggle in Bangladesh

Schooling Faith in Islam

Dear Friends,

BBC journalist Mr. Roland Buerk in his report of 26/2/2005 had expressed his concern about "Schooling Faith" in Islam.

The root of the problem lies in some Englishmen’s obsession to rule the world forever. European Renaissance and Industrial Revolution in Europe created vested interests who want to rule the world forever by the vices and institutions of atheism, materialism, colonialism, opportunism, hedonism, fornication and such other perversions and evils.

Those who do not have the compassion to look after their parents at their old age, want to teach the Afro-Asian nations about Human Rights and Good Governance. Obviously their aim is neither Human Rights nor Good Governance. Their aim is to promote their domination over the world forever. And that's nonsense. And they are already losing this battle.

I have been a member of Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon for more than 25 years and I am very close to the Islamic Clerics and Non-Gov't Madrasa system (i.e. Quaumi Madrasa) and its pupils and teachers. I honestly and sincerely support the Talebans and the freedom fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, though I agree that they are human beings and they are not immune from prejudices, wrongs and errors. But like my compatriots I strongly pursue a policy of not taking up arms in Bangladesh so long we enjoy Freedom of Expression.

Founder of Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon, Late Hazrat Maulana Muhammadullah Hafezzee Huzur (Peace of God be upon him), is one of the founders of the Non-Government Madrasa System in Bangladesh. He used to say in both indoor and public meetings, "Muslims are our brethren in religion, but Hindus and non-Muslims are our kin. We are all descendents and children of same parents Adam & Eve (Blessings of God be upon them)."

But BBC's Mr. Roland Buerk's local guide took him to the so-called madrasa child student in Narayangonj who said to Burek "I want to spread Islam, to convert Hindus into Muslims". I am sure this part of the report is blatant lie.

There is no record that Madrasa students after graduation engage themselves in missionary activities to convert the Hindus to Islam. But the Christian Missionaries are doing it, usually backed by western fund while Christians themselves in the West are deserting their churches.

Soon after BBC’s report, I sent faxes and e-mails to BBC expressing my curiosity to meet Mr. Burek's guide and the so-called Madrasa student he interviewed. They never responded. Most likely because it was a concocted story in line with the campaign to pressurize the administration to crackdown on Islamic institutions in Bangladesh.

The fact is that the Non-Gvernment Islamic Madrasa in Bangladlesh (i.e. Quaumi Madrasa) are NGO Islamic schools which are struggling to protect and promote Islamic Heritage & Culture. Literacy in Islamic scripts and orientation in righteous pious life is their main concern.

It is true that situation for quick growth of Islamic militancy all over the world exist. But if the liberal space for Islamic clerics and activists is not shrunken, they are unlikely to choose the path of armed struggle in Bangladesh. Best regards,

Kazi Azizul Huq,
International Affairs Secretary
Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon