Forced to Participate In War Crimes

In Suicide Note, Iraq War Veteran Says He Was Forced to Participate In War?Crimes

by Rania Khalek in Dispatches from the Underclass

Dan Somers (right) performing at his band?s CD Release Show (Phoenix New Times/Melissa Fossum)

On June 10, 2013, 30-year-old Iraq War veteran Daniel Somers killed himself after writing a powerful letter to his family explaining his reasons for doing so.
?My mind is a wasteland filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give,? reads the letter, which Somers? family allowed?Gawker?to?publish. Somers went on to reveal the source of his pain: Continue reading “Forced to Participate In War Crimes”

Stifling the whistleblower

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-104-2013

11 August 2013
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BANGLADESH: Human rights defender, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan arbitrarily detained
ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; ill-treatment; fabricated charges; freedom of expression and opinion; human rights defender; corruption; impunity
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Dear friends,
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police has arrested Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, one of most respected human rights defenders in Bangladesh and the Secretary of Odhikar. A group of plain clothed men picked up Mr. Adilur from his residence at?10:20 p.m., on 10 August 2013. Neither Adilur, nor the family was informed why they were taking Adilur into custody and where they were taking him. Later, media in Bangladesh have published reports, quoting police officers Adilur was arrested in relation to a case registered at Gulshan Police Station, for offenses punishable under the Information and Communications Technology Act, 2006. However, the Gulshan police has informed Odhikar that they had no case registered against Adilur at the station, and that the officers there learned about Adilur’s arrest through the media. There is serious concern about Adilur’s safety in custody. Please intervene immediately in this case, so that Adilur remains safe in custody and released without delay. Continue reading “Stifling the whistleblower”

Eid without Talha. Held for seven years without trial.

Syed Talha Ahsan?is a British poet and translator. He has been imprisoned for seven years without a trial. The family is spending another Eid without him.

Continue reading “Eid without Talha. Held for seven years without trial.”

Justice Still Elusive in Factory Disasters in Bangladesh

by Jim Yardley. The New York Times

DHAKA, Bangladesh ? Inside Courtroom 21, the two judges peered down from high wooden chairs as lawyers in formal black robes presented their motions. Activists and victims watched from the back. And a few steps away, a portly man with a thick black beard remained silent. He was the suspect. He did not seem especially nervous. Continue reading “Justice Still Elusive in Factory Disasters in Bangladesh”

Searching for Kalpana Chakma

A Photo-Forensic Study

Part of the “No More” public awareness campaign of Drik.

Let me ask a silly question, my partner Rahnuma had said. ?But isn?t it all in your imagination?? Of course it was. The images I?d created, while based upon complex scientific procedures, did not ?prove? anything. The objects I had photographed, while silent witnesses, had not ?seen? the crime. The artifacts, interviews, videos and photographs I was presenting was not ?evidence?.

Magnfied view of leaf at bazaar where Kalpana and Major Ferdous had an altercation shortly before her disappearance. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Magnfied view of leaf at bazaar where Kalpana and Lieutenant Ferdous had an altercation shortly before her disappearance. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Continue reading “Searching for Kalpana Chakma”

MASS MURDER AT SAVAR

The stench of rotting corpses
by rahnuma ahmed

It’s past midnight now, I took a shower after returning home but it refuses to go away.
I can smell it on my wet hair as strands blow over my face while the fan whirs above. I can smell it on my nightwear and, as I rest my chin on my clasped hands, I can smell the stench of rotting corpses and bloated bodies which stretches from Rana Plaza to Adhar Chandra school grounds in Savar ? rise up from my fingers.
It has not only come home with me, all that scrubbing as I showered has proven to be of little use.
It is not the dead workers who are to be blamed. The stench rises from, as Vijay Prasad puts it, the terror of capitalism.

Volunteers looking for corpses. Rana Plaza. Savar.   H. Asad
Volunteers looking for corpses. Rana Plaza. Savar. Photo: K M. Asad

Continue reading “MASS MURDER AT SAVAR”

Interview: Allama Tahir Ashrafi on Blasphemy Laws

By??13 APRIL 2013?Newsline

HafizTahirAshrafi04-13
This interview was published as part of a?special report on recent attacks on Pakistan?s Christian community.?
Allama Tahir Ashrafi is chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council and a member of the Council for Islamic Ideology. He was the first cleric to raise a voice in favour of Rimsha Masih, a minor girl with Down?s Syndrome who was falsely implicated in a blasphemy case by cleric Khalid Jadoon at the behest of the land mafia in August 2012. She was acquitted in November 2012. Continue reading “Interview: Allama Tahir Ashrafi on Blasphemy Laws”

Interview of Rafiur Rabbi by Shahidul Alam

Interview: Shahidul Alam and Rahnuma Ahmed
Transcript: Saydia Gulrukh Kamal
Translation: Hana Shams Ahmed



Interview of Rafiur Rabbi, father of murdered teenager Tanvir Mohammad Toki of Narayanganj. from Shahidul Alam on Vimeo.
Transcript of interview of cultural activist Rafiur Rabbi of Narayanganj. The body of Rabbi’s teenage son, a brilliant student from Narayanganj, was found in the river. He had been tortured. It is generally felt in Narayanganj (as Rabbi himself feels), that this was done by Shameem Osman, considered the godfather of Narayanganj, to stop Rabbi from impeding his (Shameem’s) business.
The murder of Toki follows a similar pattern where over the years, people who have resisted activities by Shameem Osman’s family have been murdered.

Tanvir Mohammad Toki, wgi was murdered in Narayanganj. The family blame the godfather of Narayanganj, Shameem Osman.
Tanvir Mohammad Toki, wgi was murdered in Narayanganj. The family blame the godfather of Narayanganj, Shameem Osman.

Shahidul Alam: Rabbi bhai. A father who has lost his child, it is very difficult to question but I am questioning you because, you are a special person, your role is different, we do not see Towki as your child only, we see him as our child too, we see him as Bangladesh?s child, and that is why we need to find out. If you could tell us a few things about Towki at first.
Fazle Rabbi, cultural activist from Narayanganj, father of murdered teenager Tanvir Mohammad Toki. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Rafiur Rabbi, cultural activist from Narayanganj, father of murdered teenager Tanvir Mohammad Toki. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Rafiur Rabbi: His mother will be able to say more about Toki than I will be able to, what I can say from my position is that, Toki was different from 8/10 other boys. His thoughts and concerns were completely different. ? Continue reading “Interview of Rafiur Rabbi by Shahidul Alam”

Prominent Bangladeshi blogger still in a critical condition

Asif Mohiuddin has since been arrested. This is a section from a mail he wrote just prior to his arrest: “I love my country very much and will fight for my rights till the end but now I am mentally and physically very?upset, so I am asking for your help”

Dated: 18.01.2013:?In an exclusive telephone interview Asif Mohiuddin tells Deutsche Welle?s Bengali Service he thinks “fundamentalists may be involved in the attack” on him Monday evening in Bangladesh.

“My blog posts angered them and they had threatened me couple of times before,” he tells DW. Mohiuddin was 2012’s User Winner for “Best Social Activism Campaign” at Deutsche Welle’s International Blog Awards (The BOBs). The prominent Bangladeshi Internet activist was assaulted in a knife attack by three unidentified men earlier this week in Dhaka.
The injuries Mohiuddin sustained left doctors in no doubt that his attackers intended to kill him. Meanwhile, Mohiuddin’s family expressed concern for Asif’s safety, since he has no police protection in the hospital. His family fears there may be another attempt on his life.

BLACK NIGHT 1971 Bangladesh

By Monirul Alam

The black night of March 25, 1971 when the Pakistani occupation forces kicked off one of the worst genocides in history that led to a nine-month war for the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
On this black night in the nation?s history, the Pakistani military rulers launched ?Operation Searchlight?, killing some thousand people in that night?s crackdown alone.?As part of the operation, tanks rolled out of Dhaka cantonment and a sleeping city woke up to the rattles of gunfire as the Pakistan army attacked the halls at Dhaka University, the then East Pakistan Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh) headquarters and Rajarbagh Police Lines, killing the several thousand unarmed Bengalis on the single night. The planned and designated centres of offensive operations under that plan were Dhaka, Khulna, Chittagong, Comilla, Jessore, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Saidpur and Sylhet? areas, where West Pakistani army units were concentrated. Continue reading “BLACK NIGHT 1971 Bangladesh”