Friday, May 13, 2011

BANGLADESH: Open Letter to all civil society organizations working on Bangladesh on lessons to be learned from the brutal attack on FMA Razzak

Basil Fernando, Asian Human Rights Commission, May 12, 2011

The attempted eye gouging incident in at Paikgachha village, where a human rights defender and journalist, FMA Razzak and his brother were attacked by a about 40 persons mobilized by a major in Bangladesh army, Mustafizur Rahman Bokul, is a painful experience to all. It is necessary to learn from this experience so that effective actions can be taken to address the very serious threats to everyone that are manifest through this extraordinarily inhumane attack.

There were glaring inefficiencies and carelessness in the police conduct prior to this incident, during and after the incident. Razzak complained to the police about the harassment from Major Mustafizur Rahman Bokul’s family for months. However, the police failed make any reasonable intervention. (For details of police neglect please see:  It is the duty of the police to enforce the law and to keep the peace and when it fails to do so violence and chaos are the inevitable result. Everyone we have talked to over this incident expressed their frustration and disappointment with the way policing system is functioning in Bangladesh. Police reform therefore is one of the major tasks that need to be achieved in Bangladesh.

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