Appeal for human rights defender Mr Dipal Barua in Bangladesh

Posted on May 29, 2011

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Dear beautiful reader and fighter!

Mr Dipal Barua is a human rights defender from the amazing country of Bangladesh. His struggle for his fellow human beings is hurting his everyday life, since there is some organized struggle against people like him (sanctioned or not sanctioned by the government no one can say at the moment). Therefore I would like to take the opportunity to ask You to send an appeal to the government of Bangladesh to do anything in their power to protect him. You can send the message down below to: info@pmo.gov.bd and to the Bangladesh Embassy accredited to Your country, look for info here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/

For the love of everyone’s human rights I thank You in advance!

Dear Prime Minister,

On 24 May 2011, human rights defender Mr Dipal Barua was reportedly
abducted by unknown men, ill-treated and interrogated about his human
rights work. He was released and to his home in Dhaka, Bangladesh the
following day. Dipal Barua works with people who are facing human rights
violations and abuses. He completed a human rights training course with
the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in December 2009. He was
recently involved in providing assistance to Mr FMA Razzak, President of
the Human Rights Development Centre (HRDC) and editor of the Gonomichhil
fortnightly newspaper, who remains in a critical condition in hospital
following an abduction and brutal attack in Paikgachha, Bangladesh on 29
April 2011.

On 24 May 2011, at approximately 11am, as Dipal Barua was walking near
the Sayeedabad bus terminal on his way back from visiting a friend he
was approached by a man wearing black sunglasses who asked him for
directions. As he walked with the man to show him the way they passed a
black jeep and a man from within pulled Dipal Barua into the vehicle
which quickly moved off. It is reported that there were four men in the
jeep who immediately took his mobile phone and blindfolded him, shouting
abusive language at him as they drove. They also covered his head with a
black cloth and handcuffed him.

The jeep arrived at an unknown location where Dipal Barua was allegedly
put into a room where the handcuffs were removed and he was ordered to
take off his clothes. It is reported that he was left naked in the cold
room for approximately seven hours during which time his requests for
water were ignored and he was forced to urinate in the room. He was then
allegedly taken to another room where seven or eight men proceeded to
interrogate him.

It is reported that he was questioned regarding FMA Razzak and the AHRC.
He was asked why he had visited FMA Razzak in hospital, why FMA Razzak
had been moved to a private hospital and who the representatives from
the AHRC who came to investigate FMA Razzak’s attack were. He was
interrogated regarding how long he had been working with the AHRC and
was asked to give the names of people who were working for the AHRC and
where the money that he and his friends had received for their human
rights work was.
The interrogators threatened to kill him and told him to cease all
contact with all persons connected with the AHRC, some of whom they
named specifically. They told him that they were going to give him a
chance and that he should take it as he would not get another one should
he have any contact with those people. Following the interrogation he
was brought back to the scene of the abduction.

The abduction of Dipal Barua follows his recent hospital visit to FMA
Razzak who was the subject of a Front Line urgent appeal on 5 May 2011
following the brutal attack on him during which his eyes were gouged and
several of his bones were broken. Dipal Barua also met with two members
of the AHRC during their visit to investigate the attack on FMA Razzak
between the 17 and 21 May. Other local activists who helped the AHRC
with their investigation have been seriously threatened in recent days.

I believe that the disappearance of Dipal Barua is directly related to
his work in defence of human rights and in particular to the recent
assistance he provided in the case of FMA Razzak. I am seriously
concerned for his physical and psychological integrity.

I urge the authorities in Bangladesh to:

1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the
abduction and interrogation of Dipal Barua and the assault on FMA Razzak
with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to
justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Immediately take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and
psychological integrity and security of Dipal Barua, FMA Razzak and
their families;

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in
Bangladesh are able to carry out their legitimate and peaceful human
rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all
restrictions, including judicial harassment.

Yours sincerely,

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