The latest episode of an ongoing judicial harassment
In August 2013, following the publication of a fact-finding report issued by Odhikar in May 2013 on the killing of civilians by security forces, Adilur Rahman Khan and ASM Nasiruddin Elan were arbitrarily detained for 62 and 25 days, respectively, before being released on bail. Since then, they have been subjected to continuous judicial harassment, with Bangladeshi courts repeatedly rejecting their motions without substantial legal grounds, prosecuting witnesses without the consent of the defendants’ counsel or without leaving them enough time to prepare for a cross-examination, in clear violation of the internationally recognised right to a fair trial. Over the years, Messrs Khan and Elan, as well as Odhikar have been subjected to smear campaigns, criticised, and demonised by the government for their human rights work. The renewal of Odhikar’s registration was denied in June 2022.
“It is not those who denounce murders who should be punished, but those who commit them. Today, Adil and Elan – two of the most remarkable people I have ever met, were unjustly sentenced for exposing killings. The culprits are still free. As a lawyer, it pains me to see that this justice system has forgotten its mission and chosen to become an executioner” said Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.