Request for action: Urgent Appeal regarding the arrest of human rights defender in Dhaka, Bangladesh – Reg

August 12, 2013

12 August 2013

 

Ms. Margaret Sekaggya                                                                                                      

Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders

c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Palais Wilson

United Nations Office at Geneva

CH 1211 Geneva 10  Switzerland  

Email: urgent-action@ohchr.org

Dear Ma’am,

Sub: Request for action: Urgent Appeal regarding the arrest of human rights defender in Dhaka, Bangladesh – Reg

Greetings from SICHREM!

The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

SICHREM is now writing to express our grave concern regarding the arbitrary arrest of    Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary of Odhikar, Executive Committee Member of Forum Asia and a member of OMCT General Assembly, at his Gulshan residence, in Dhaka.

According to the information received, on August 10, 2013, at 10.20 pm, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan was arrested by eight or nine detectives of the Detective Branch of Police (DB) as he was returning home with his family. The detectives, who brought a white microbus apparently belonging to the United Commercial Bank and a blue and silver coloured mitsubishi pajero, asked Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan to follow them. Reportedly, Mr. Rahman Khan was brought to the headquarters of the police DB in Dhaka.

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police subsequently confirmed the arrest to the media, adding that Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan has been arrested under the Information and Communication Technology Act. The arrest was allegedly made on the basis of a general diary filed by the police with Gulshan Police Station, in relation to news and photos uploaded on Odhikar website about the killing of 61 people during the May 5 police drive against Hifazat-e Islam activists at the Dhaka’s downtown Motijheel area.

Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan is a Human Rights Defender among others and is protected under International law on human rights defenders to which India a signatory since 1998. We feel that it is the bounden duty of the State to see that this harassment is stopped and he be released at the earliest.

We understand that harassment, intimidation, and threats on human rights defenders, and of Mr.  Adilur Rahman Khan are acts aimed to target and obstruct the work of his and the organisation.

SICHREM is gravely concerned about the intimidation tactics employed by the state forces, and the alleged afore mentioned facts and recalls that the authorities have to fulfill their obligations under international human rights law to protect the right to life and to protect the rights of a human rights defender to perform his duties without any hindrance. The State authorities must ensure that the forces comply with international human rights standards on law enforcement, in particular those relating to the defenders rights.

SICHREM, deeply concerned by the developments, Accordingly, calls on the competent authorities to ensure that the investigation is carried out promptly, effectively, thoroughly, independently and impartially, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible for the act, before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.

SICHREM expresses its deepest concern about Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan’s arbitrary arrest, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his peaceful human rights activities, and calls upon the authorities in Bangladesh to guarantee in all circumstances his physical and psychological integrity as well as to release him immediately and unconditionally.

SICHREM urgently requests you to :

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan and of all human rights defenders in Bangladesh;

ii. Release Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan who has also been a former Deputy Attorney General of the Country immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to any kind of harassment – including at the judicial level – against Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan and all human rights defenders in Bangladesh;

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.

Looking forward to your immediate action in this regard,

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

MATHEWS PHILIP

Executive Director

 

Note : Similar Urgent Appeal regarding the arrest and detention of Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan has been sent to the following:-

i) H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Dhaka-1215, Bangladesh

ii) H.E. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Minister for Home Affairs, Bangladesh.

iii)H.E. Dr. Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh

iv) H.E Shafique Ahmed, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh.

v) Mr. Hasan Mahmud Khandaker, Inspector General of Police, Bangladesh

vi) Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission Banglade

vii) H.E. Mr. Abdul Hannan, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the United Nations in Geneva.

viii) Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Brussels, Belgium.

ix) High Commission of Bangladesh in New Delhi, India.

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Urgent Action Appeal on the case of attack on Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi

April 27, 2013
 
Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya 
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, 
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Palais Wilson 
United Nations Office at Geneva 
CH 1211 Geneva 10 

Dear Ma’am,

Sub: Urgent Appeal for Action – India/Uttar Pradesh – Case of attempt on life by miscreants and police in-action against a Human Rights Defender Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi of Varanasi-Reg

Greetings from SICHREM!

The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Uttar Pradesh, India.

We are now writing to express our grave concern regarding the attempt on the life of Lenin Raghuvanshi is the Secretary General and Executive Director of the Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR). He is also the Core Team Member of the Core Group of NGO’s in the NHRC. His human rights work focuses on advocating for the basic rights of marginalized groups in Indian society.

Incident

According to the information received, On April 24, 2013 at around 8 pm three unidentified assailants knocked at the house of Dr Lenin and entered the house forcibly, and fired upon him and gave life threats. Dr Lenin fortunately bent down and the bullet missed him but then suddenly the other assailant took out a knife and attacked him on his foot. After this all three assailants ran away taking advantage of the darkness in the lane outside the house. Dr Lenin has tried to resist the assailants and to catch them and even chased them on his scooty but could not since there was construction on the main road and a JCB was parked in the middle of the road. The driver of the JCB came down attacked Dr Lenin and then fled. The Cops from Paharia police-out-post also came but no FIR was registered neither any step was taken for security.

Harassment of activists on flimsy pretexts and on grounds that they exercised their constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights is a dangerous trend and will be resisted robustly by human rights activists everywhere.

SICHREM is gravely concerned about the intimidation tactics employed by the state and non state forces, and the alleged afore mentioned facts and recalls that the authorities have to fulfill their obligations under international human rights law to protect the right to life and to protect the rights of a human rights defender to perform his duties without any hindrance. The State authorities must ensure that the forces comply with international human rights standards on law enforcement, in particular those relating to the defenders rights.

SICHREM, deeply concerned by the developments, Accordingly, calls on the competent authorities to ensure that the investigation is carried out promptly, effectively, thoroughly, independently and impartially, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible for the act, before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.

Appeal

We, therefore, urge you to immediately take necessary steps to

1. Ensure an immediate intervention of the police administration and that necessary legal action is taken and all the perpetrators are brought to book;

2. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the incident with a view to bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

3. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological security and integrity to the victims’ in order to carry out their legitimate human rights work peacefully;

4. Protection and security be provided to the Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi and his family members.

5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all Human right defenders in India are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

6. Conform to the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly 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 realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;

– its Article 6(a), which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in associations with others, to know, seek, obtain, receive and hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms”;

– and its Article 12.2, which states 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 the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

Looking forward to your immediate action in this regard,

Yours sincerely,

Mathews Philip
Executive Director