February 23, 2011
24 February 2011 marks the second anniversary of the enactment of Anti-terrorism Act. Odhikar would like to express and reiterate its grave concern on the Act that was passed in the very first session of the current Parliament on February 24, 2009. Earlier, on February 19, 2009, the Government, at a Cabinet meeting, approved the AntiTerrorism Bill to be made into law, without any public consultation. When the Antiterrorism Ordinance was first promulgated by the military-backed Caretaker Government Odhikar drew the attention of the human rights defenders around the world about the broad sweep of the law and its vague definitions that increase the likelihood of its abuse.
On this day we would like to reiterate our strong opposition against this repressive law. In the preceding twenty-four months the law has been used against a cross section of people including opposition activists, teachers, journalists and human rights defenders. The said law is against human rights norms and undermines the democratic aspirations of the people.
Odhikar appeals to the Government to repeal this law and urges the human rights defenders within the country and outside to exert moral pressure on the government to rescind the legal instrument.
Dr. C R Abrar
Adilur Rahman Khan