HRCBM Strongly Condemns Attack on its Bangladesh Office and Urges the Government of Bangladesh to Respect Rule of Law and Human Rights Instruments for Which it is a State Party

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HRCBM strongly condemns attack on it's regional office by ruling party cadres who ransacked the office on April 17th, 2004.

The Human Right Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM) strongly condemns the recent attack on its regional office at Dhaka, Bangladesh by the ruling party cadres. With the goal of stopping human rights and humanitarian activities of HRCBM, ruling party cadres under the leadership of a local Member of Parliament namely "Pintu" broke into the office of HRCBM at 8 PM, 17th April, 2004.

The miscreants brooked the front door and entered to the building. They ransacked and looted the office equipment and beaten up the night guard, Kazi Shuash Hasan. HRCBM office which is situated at 127 Paltan Line, Azimpur, Lalbag, Dhaka was completely damaged and the total damage estimated around TK. 4,60,630 (USD $8376.00).

The miscreants have also threatened the local members of HRCBM and staff, Advocate Dulal Choudhury, Vice President, HRCBM-Dhaka, with dire consequences if the incident is reported. Lalbag police station has reportedly refused to register a case at first although it allowed the case to be registered latter.

It is to be noted that HRCBM have earlier registered a general diary with the same police station fearing possible attack on its office. The case number of the recent attack registered under Lalbag Police station, Dhaka is "Lalabagh P.s. case no. 13 dated 22/04/04 under section 143/448/323/380/427/506 of BPC".

HRCBM (Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities), a human rights and humanitarian services organization which has been in the forefront of running a world wide campaign to depict human rights abuses against minorities in the country, has been a target of attacks from criminals usually associated with the ruling parties.

The organization has earlier filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court, the country’s highest institution of justice for the protection of religious and ethnic minorities. The writ is yet to be moved by the court despite it is pending for hearing before the court for at least six months. Constitution, which guarantees non- discriminatory application of domestic law, has been so far ineffective to protect the minorities of the country.

Wide spread gang rape of minority women and girls, state sponsored discrimination, black laws such as vested property act, atrocities, religious intolerance and rampage of political parties against the country's dwindling minority population have forced thousands of minorities to escape the country while more than 500,000 have been internally displaced.

Uncountable number of incidents of brutality and heinous crimes happened since the General Election of October 1, 2001. The minorities are still crying for justice and punishment of the criminals of these and other barbaric acts of violence perpetrated against the religious minorities and tribal communities in Bangladesh. The carnage has taken irrecoverable human, financial and psychological toll on the whole minority communities of Bangladesh.

The phenomena of brutality against the minority communities can only be compared with the act of "Genocide" under the 1948 Geneva Convention definition of genocide.

HRCBM members and volunteers have reported false cases against them, forgery by politically motivated groups such as Alochona, attacks on family members, hacking on email accounts and websites since the inception of the organization. Yet the attack on its office has broken all norms of a civilized country.

Such attack is actually threatening the very existence of rights advocacy in the country, which is a violation of the guidelines and rights instruments that is enshrined in the charter of UN and Commonwealth for which Bangladesh is a state party.

Henceforth, HRCBM urges international community to immediately intervene to protect HRCBM's operation in the country and to up hold the rule of law.

HRCBM also urges the Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh to instruct the law enforcement authorities to:

  • Provide immediate protection to the family members of HRCBM,
  • Arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
  • Provide adequate compensation
  • Ensure that HRCBM's writ can obtain unbiased judgment from the country’s highest institution of justice "The Supreme Court".
  • Instruct ruling party members to refrain themselves from activities, which threatened "Freedom of Speech", "Rights to Associate" and "Rights of Advocacy" in the country.
  • Ensure that law enforcement agencies work free from political bias to apprehend the criminals
  • Guarantee security of life and property of the minority communities in Bangladesh.

Dhiman Deb Chowdhury

President,

Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM)

http://www.hrcbm.org

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