Bangladesh: Bangladesh: Tipu Sultan, journalist, beaten
Case BGD 220201
The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Bangladesh.
Brief description of the situation:
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Centre for Trauma Victims (BRCT) and the Bangladesh Human Rights Commission (BHRC), both members of the OMCT network, that on 25 January 2001, at about 7.30 P.M., Tipu Sultan (27), a journalist of United News of Bangladesh (UNB), a private news agency of Bangladesh, was severely beaten by a gang allegedly supported by Zainal Abedin Hazari, an Awami League Member of Parliament in Feni.
An eyewitnesses informed the BRCT Fact-finding team that a gang picked him up in a white color microbus between the Grand Trunk Road in Feni town and Salam Community Center at Shahid Mizan Road. They beat Tipu with a hockey stick, rod and thick stick (like baseball bat). After beating him for some time the terrorists took him to the Zahir Raihan Hall premises in the town. There, they again beat Tipu with thick weapon for about 10 minutes on both of his legs and hands. As a result, his legs were broken. He has undergone a number of operations and the injuries suffered may result in a permanent disability.
He was then left on the street. Two days after the incident, on 28 January, with the help of his family, he fled from Feni to Dhaka in fear of his life. His family members are also considered to be at risk.
According to the information received, on January 27th 2001, Tipu Sultan filed a case with Feni Sadar Thana accusing Zainal Abedin Hazari, and fourteen others, but it was reported that the Police Officer in Charge, Mushtak Ahmed had refused to register his First Information Report. Furthermore, although BRCT sent a report of their fact finding mission to the government, no response has been received.
This beating is believed to be related to an incident reported by Tipu Sultan 9 days before. According to the information, Tipu Sultan, as a district correspondent of UNB, wrote a report on the destruction of the newly built Sultana Memorial Junior Girls School at Omarpur under Daganbhuyan thana in Feni district by a gang allegedly supported by local M.P. Zainal Hazari of the ruling party Bangladesh Awami League. The reasons being that the school management had not invited Jainal Abedin Hazari M.P. to inaugurate the school.
Please write to the authorities in Bangladesh urging them to:
i. guarantee an immediate investigation into the beating of Tipu Sultan in order to clarify this case and identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
ii. ensure the physical and psychological integrity of Tipu Sultan and his family;
iii. guarantee the right to adequate medical care and compensation to Tipu Sultan;
iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
Ms Shiekh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Prime Minister’s Office, Old Parliament House, Tejgaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Fax: 88 02 8113244, 811015, 8113243
Mr Abdus Samad Azad, Foreign Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Segun Bagicha, Dhaka, Fax: 88 02 8617448
Mr Rafiqul Islam Biruttam, Minister of Home Affairs, Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. Fax: 88 02 8696667
Mr Mohammad Nurul Huda, Inspector General of Police, Police Head Quarters, Dhaka – 1000, Fax: 88 02 9563362
Geneva, February 22, 2001
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.