take action to call for the release of human rights defender ADILUR
RAHMAN KHAN! To do so, kindly copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address
provided. Kindly inform us of any action undertaken at firstname.lastname@example.org,
quoting the code of this appeal in your reply. Thank you for taking action!
Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Gona Bhaban, Old Sangsad
Bhaban, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax: +880 2 8113243, Email: email@example.com
Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Minister for Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs,
Bangladesh Secretariat Building 4, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Shafique Ahmed, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry
of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka,
Bangladesh, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, Honourable Minister, Ministry of
Information, Building # 4 (8th floor), Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000,
Bangladesh. E-mail: email@example.com
Hasan Mahmud Khandaker, Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters,
Phoenix Road, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Abdul Hannan, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of
Bangladesh to the United Nations in Geneva, 65 rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva,
Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 738 46 16, E-mail: email@example.com
of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Brussels, 29-31 rue J. Jordaens, 1000
Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 646 59 98; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Bangladesh in your respective
country as well as to the EU diplomatic missions or embassies in
I have been informed by the Observatory for the
Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, about the ongoing arbitrary
detention of Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary of the human rights non-governmental
organisation Odhikar, a member of OMCT General Assembly and Executive Committee
Member of Forum Asia.
On August 10, 2013, at 10.20 pm, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan was
arrested by eight or nine men in plain clothes who said they were of the Detective Branch of
Police (DB) as he was returning at his Gulshan residence in Dhaka with his
family. The men, who brought a white microbus apparently belonging to the
United Commercial Bank and a blue and silver coloured mitsubishi pajero, asked
Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan to follow them. They did
not present any warrant of arrest and did not inform neither his family nor Mr.
Khan why they were arresting him and where they were taking him.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police subsequently confirmed the arrest to the media,
adding that Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan has been arrested under the
Information and Communication Technology Act. The arrest was allegedly
made on the basis of a general diary filed by the police with Gulshan
police station, in relation to the fact-finding report issued by Odhikar about
the killing of 61 people during an operation carried out on May 5-6,
2013 by law enforcement agencies against Hifazat-e Islam activists at the Dhaka’s
Odhikar released on June 10, 2013 its fact-finding report on the human rights
violations perpetrated at the Hefazot rally in Motijheel on May 5-6, 2013, the
Information Ministry sent a letter to Odhikar on July 10, 2013 asking
for the names, family names and addresses of the 61 deceased people. In its reply
letter sent to the Information Ministry on July 17, 2013, and concerned for the
security of victims' families, Odhikar requested those concerned to form
an independent impartial commission headed by a retired judge, where Odhikar is
willing to submit the names of the 61 victims killed.
August 11, 2013, at around 1.20 pm, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan was brought
before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM), where the complaint against him was read by the Public
Prosecutor. The complaint, which was only handed over to his lawyers after Mr. Adilur
Rahman Khan was presented before the Court,
was signed by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. The police lodged two General Diaries
against him on August 10, 2013, one (General Diary number 268, dated August 10)
by the Detective Branch of Police (North) under Section 54 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure and the other (General Diary number 514, dated August 10) by
the Gulshan police station. Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan was also charged under clauses 1 and 2 of Section
57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act 2006 for publishing
false images and information and disrupting the law and order situation of the
country. The complaint also alleges that there would be reasonable suspicion
that Mr. Khan is also directly and indirectly liable for other cognizable
offences. The Public Prosecutor sought a ten-day
remand against Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan
while his lawyers sought bail. The Magistrate, Judge Amit Kumar Dey, rejected the bail petition and placed Mr.
Khan on a five-day remand for interrogation in connection with
publishing a “false report” on casualties during a crackdown on a rally by the
Islamist organisation Hefazat-e Islam on May 5-6, 2013 (See background
information). Mr. Khan was then taken back to the Office of the Detective Branch (DB) of
Dhaka Metropolitan Police at 36 Minto Road, in Dhaka.
Furthermore, on August 11, 2013, the Odhikar
office was searched by DB police between 8.20 pm and 9.00 pm.
They inspected the files and documents and then seized three laptops and two
CPUs from Odhikar's office.
On 12 August 2013, the High Court of
Bangladesh stayed the five-day remand order to interrogate Mr. Adilur Rahman
Khan and asked police to send him to jail.
A High Court vacation bench
comprised of Justice Borhanuddin and Justice Kashifa Hossain, however, allowed
the Detective Branch to interrogate Mr. Khan at the Dhaka Central Jail gate
premises, if necessary.
The court passed the order after hearing a writ
petition filed by Mr. Khan, challenging the legality of the remand order
granted by Judge Amit Kumar Dey of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court.
On 13 August 2013, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate
Mostafa Shahriar Khan, in accordance with the High Court order, issued the
order to send Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan to Dhaka Central Jail.
I express my
deepest concern about Mr.
Adilur Rahman Khan's arbitrary detention,
which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his peaceful human rights
activities. Accordingly, I call upon the authorities
in Bangladesh to guarantee in all circumstances his physical and psychological
integrity as well as to release him immediately and unconditionally.
More generally, I call upon the authorities in
Bangladesh to put an end to any kind of harassment - including
at the judicial level - against Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan and all human
rights defenders in Bangladesh; as well as to conform
with the provisions of the United Natinos Declaration on Human Rights
Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9,
I thank you for your attention to
this urgent matter.