May 27, 2016
(Hong Kong, 26 May 2016)
Members of families of 19 disappeared victims once again took to the street, yesterday, 26 May 2016. They formed a “human chain” in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka to demand the return of their loved ones within the month of Ramadan. Prominent human rights defenders, members of the civil society, and academic scholars joined the families to express solidarity.
Many disappearances occurred before the controversial Parliamentary Elections on 5 January 2014. Political dissidents were the main victims. In 2013, a total of 24 people were disappeared from Dhaka. None have since returned. On one day alone, i.e. on 4 December 2013, eight young men were disappeared from different areas of Dhaka City. The whereabouts of these men remain unknown. Parents, siblings, and wives of these 19 people do not know whether their loved ones will ever return. However, the agonising wait continues.
A little girl, Aroya, was one of the participants in the “human chain”. She was two years old when her father disappeared. Now she is five. She still stares at her father’s photo, wondering when he will come home.
The condition of the parents of the disappeared is far worse. Ms. Marufa Islam, elder sister of Sajedul Islam Sumon, who was disappeared by the Rapid Action Battalion on 4 December 2013, stated that her mother’s tears have dried up with all the weeping. “She prays for the return of her son. In all these 19 families, the parents are waiting for their children every day – every single second”, said Ms. Islam.
The families took to the street prior to the holy month of Ramadan and Eid. They miss their dear ones much more during such festive occasions. They do not know whether the victims are still alive. They ask the State of Bangladesh the following questions: “What was the crime for which they were disappeared? Has the State ever considered the situation of those families whose dear ones are disappeared? How long do they have to wait to know the whereabouts and return? Does plights of the families really matter to the country’s Prime Minister?”
Most of the disappeared persons were students. They studied in different colleges and universities in Dhaka. Some were the only breadwinners of their families.
Victim family members have met with high profile government officers on several occasions, hoping that their intervention would enable the return of their disappeared family members. A number of habeas corpus writ cases have been filed with the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. However, there has been no effective remedy available from the highest judiciary to returning the victims to their relatives.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the Supreme Court of Bangladesh to order the government to open an office headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge to address the grave problem of enforced disappearances.
Such an office should act on the allegations of enforced disappearances across the country. Many nation-states in the world have established similar entities to address matters related to enforced disappearances and missing persons.
The following 19 persons are the victims who have been disappeared from Dhaka since late 2013:
1. Sajedul Islam Sumon
Father- Late Hazi Mafijul Islam
Mother- Hazera Khatun
Address-553, Shahinbag, Dhaka- 1215
2. Jahidul Karim Tanvir
Father- Golam Jakaria (Jhunu)
Mother- Nilufar Begum (Putul)
Address- Basundhara, Dhaka
3. Abdul Kader Bhuiyan
Father- Md. Rafikul Islam Bhuiyan
Mother- Ayesha Akhter
Address- 336/G, East Nakhalpara, Tejgaon, Dhaka- 1215
4. Majharul Islam
Father- Md. Aminul Haque
Mother- Jahida Begum
Address- 499, West Nakhalpara, Tejgaon, Dhaka- 1215
5. Asaduzzaman Rana
Father- Abdul Razzak
Mother- Ayesha Khatun
Address- 31/1, North Mugda, Kamlapur (East)
6. Al Amin
Father- Ahmed Uddin
Mother- Jenmin Begum
Address- North Badda, Bara Beraid
They were all picked up by RAB- 1 on 4 December 2013, at around 8:30 p.m. from Basundhara Residential Area.
7. M.A. Adnan Choudhury
Father- Ruhul Amin
Address- 640, Shahinbag, Tejgaon, Dhaka
Father- Bilal Hossain
Mother- Kamala Akhter
Address- 742, West Nakhalpara, Tejgaon, Dhaka- 1215
They were picked up by RAB from their homes on 5 December 2013, at around 2 a.m.
9. Selim Reza (Pintu)
Leader, Student wing of BNP
Father- Md. Soleman Reza
Mother- Hasina Banu
Address- Sutrapur, Dhaka- 1000
Some people dressed in civilan clothes, who introduced themselves as people from the “Administration”, picked him up from his house at Pallabi.
10. Khalid Hasan Sohel
Father- Firoze Uddin
Address- 30 Joy Chandra Ghosh Lane, Banglabazaar, Dhaka- 1100
11. Samrat Mollah
Father- Rafiq Mollah
Mother- Taslima Begum
Address- Sutrapur, Dhaka- 1100
These two were picked up by Detective Branch (DB) Police from the jail gate of Dhaka Central Jail on 28 November 2013.
12. Md. Jahirul Islam (Habibul Bashar Jahir)
Father- Md. Sirajul Islam
Mother- Hosne Ara Begum
Address- 38, Hazi Abdullah Sarkar Lane, Bongshal, Dhaka- 1100
13. Md. Parvez Hossain
Father- Md. Shafi Uddin
Mother- Hasna Begum
He was the President of the local unit of the student wing of BNP
14. Md. Sohel
Father- Samsur Rahman
Address- Bongshal, Dhaka
15. Md. Sohel (Chanchal)
Father- Abdul Kaiyum Kazi
Mother- Bibi Hazera
Address- Churiwala Lane, Bongshal, Dhaka- 1100
DB Police and people picked them up from the ‘Civil Administration’, Shahabag area, on 2 December 2013.
16. Nizam Uddin Munna
Address- 125, Udayan School Road, Molartek, Dakkhinkhan, Dhaka- 1200
He was the Joint Secretary, Airport Police Station Unit, of the student wing of BNP.
17. Tariqul Islam Jhantu
Father- Nur Mohammad Khan
Mother- Hasina Begum
Address- Molartek, Dakkhinkhan
RAB personnel dressed in civilian clothes, picked them up from Molartek, Dakkhinkhan. They were taken from in front of their relatives.
18. Mahbub Hasan (Suzon)
Father- Abdul Jalil Khan
Mother- Rashida Begum
Address- 149/4, Ahammadbag, Basabo, Sabujbag, Dhaka-1214
He was the President of the Sabujbag Unit of the student wing of BNP.
19. Kazi Farhad
Father- Kazi Khalilur Rahman
Mother- Taslima Akhtar Farida
Address- 26, Maya Kanan, Basabo, Sabujbag, Dhaka-1214
Report Published on May 26, 2016 at www.humanrights.asia