Odhikar’s Statement on the Occasion of its Founding Anniversary
Dhaka, 10 October 2022: Odhikar, an organisation of human rights defenders, was established on 10 October 1994. Odhikar expresses sincere gratitude to all human rights defenders and well-wishers, at home and abroad, who stood beside the Organisation in its struggle for the establishment of human rights for the last 28 years. It also thanks those who stood in solidarity with Odhikar as well as being vocal against the government’s persecution on it.
The main objective of the establishment of Odhikar was to protest against all human rights violations committed by the state and to give people a voice. Since its inception, Odhikar has been engaged in the struggle to highlight and ensure internationally recognised civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Odhikar has been harassed and persecuted under various governments for protesting against human rights abuses. The current government’s lack of respect for human rights is clear through its harassment of human rights defenders and its continuous harassment and persecution of Odhikar because of its national and international campaign against human rights violations. The incumbent government has even cancelled Odhikar’s registration. Odhikar is under fire and under surveillance from this government for its engagement with the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms. In 2013, Odhikar’s Secretary and Director were charged under the Information and Communication Technology Act 2006 (amendment 2009) for publishing a report on extrajudicial killings. Currently the case is under trial at the Cyber Tribunal, Dhaka.
Odhikar believes that the people of Bangladesh will continue their struggle against repression as well as the struggle for the establishment of democratic rights, justice and human rights.
The Odhikar Team
28 Years of Struggle_Odhikar (full text in English, PDF)