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Sunday, December 11, 2011
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Jesmin Akhter is still clueless about the fate of her father nearly six months after law enforcers reportedly picked him up from his house in Bagerhat.

“Even a death in crossfire is better than disappearance, because the victim's family at least gets the body. But I do not even know whether my father is dead or alive,” 22-year-old Jesmin told The Daily Star yesterday.

Four policemen in uniform and some plain-clothes men picked up her father Habibul Hawlader, a fisherman, from his house at Morelganj in Bagerhat on June 6. Later, police denied arresting her father, she said.

“They were members of law enforcement agencies but they acted like robbers.”

Another woman Jharna Khanam said seven to eight people identifying themselves as law enforcers picked up her husband KM Shamim Akhter, former vice-president of Bangladesh Chhatra Union, from in front of his Purana Paltan residence on September 29.

“I went to the offices of all agencies and ministries concerned, and even to the National Human Rights Commission chairman, but all my efforts went in vein.”

“When my two little children ask about their father, I cannot give them any answer.”

Like Jesmin and Jharna, family members and relatives of a number of missing people yesterday expressed their concern at an advocacy meeting on Accession to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance at Spectra Convention Centre in the capital's Gulshan area.

Saira Rahman Khan, founder member of human rights organisation Odhikar, said there have been reports of disappearance of at least 22 people in the last 11 months from January. Of them, 11 were picked up allegedly by Rab, two by police, six by personnel of the detective branch (DB) of police, and three by unidentified men.

In 2010, at least 18 people went missing. Fourteen of them were picked up allegedly by Rab, two by police and two others by DB personnel.

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told the meeting that his party had never supported any extra-judicial killings or forced disappearance.

If BNP comes to power again, it would stop extra-judicial killings and forced disappearance, he said.

The BNP leader, however, admitted that there had been crossfire incidents during the last BNP government's tenure between 2001 and 2006. But none of them were political, he claimed.

Odhikar, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearance, and International Federation for Human Rights jointly organised the meeting presided over by Odhikar President CR Abrar.

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We are now out of the frying pan into fire. During BNP rule they started cross-fire now AL applying it to vanish from the earth. No civilized nation could sustain with this thorn in their side. Stop this barbarism with compassion.

: Nasirullah Mridha,USA

It seems to me that Bangladesh is a lawless country and there is no government and all are taking law into their own hand and there is no body to look into the matter.



  • Anonymous
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 12:47 AM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    It is a bad news that the disappearance in Bangladesh is on the rise. The government tested other methods and probably found that they were not working according to their satisfaction.

  • Anonymous
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 08:40 AM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    We born in a country where government neither can give guarantee of life, death or dead body nor care of it.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 10:43 AM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    It is really fearful and alarming that people are disappearing in scores without trace. It is reported that plain clothes men pick them up identifying themselves as law enforcing men and then nothing is heard of the victims. The families in desperation keep moving to and fro but all efforts end up in disappointment.

    It is definitely the primary responsibility of the state to provide safety and security to its citizens. People rightly look forward to it to discharge its constitutional obligation in this regard. The intelligence departments of the state must act fast to investigate this horrendous crime against humanity. Otherwise, how on earth is our state different now from that of Pakistan in 1971? We are celebrating four decades of our independence but certainly not in such an insecure surrounding. We must fulfill our dream of freedom from fear and mental agony.

  • Anonymous
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 11:45 AM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    People from all corners should come to create movement against the failure of the government to stop forced missing and killing.

  • jajabar
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 03:42 PM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    Govt. is mysteriously silent as they support it. They are using this.

  • jajabar
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 03:46 PM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    The govt. is mysteriously silent about disappearance and they support it . they want to use this new technique of murder for their political purpose as they have turned into autocratic.

  • Anonymous
    Sunday, December 11, 2011 03:53 PM GMT+06:00 (389 weeks ago)

    We must comply with international standard and it is barely acceptable in this 21st century. We need to have empathy with the tormented families. we hope for good this trend of extra-judicial-killing and disappearance will come to end soon.





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