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The UK Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy in Bangladesh held a public meeting

Edit Date:8/12/2010 12:00:00 AM



Press Release 10th of August, 2010, Water Lily, Stepney Green, London, United Kingdom.


The UK Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy in Bangladesh held a public meeting and rally today in protest of the on-going violation of human rights and infringement of democratic values taking place in Bangladesh. Hosted at The Water Lily Banqueting Suite in London, speakers expressed their deep concern that the current Bangladeshi government has reduced itself to base and brutal acts in an attempt to quash critics and political opposition and ensure its place in power. The event was co-chaired by prominent educationalist and Chairman, Voice For Justice World Forum Dr. Hasnat Hossain, MBE, and the Patron of Multi Faith Dialogue, Chief Adviser, Jomiote Olama in Europe Mufti Shah Sadruddin.

The meeting was also addressed by Len Aldis, Chairman For Nuclear Disarmament, Tower Hemlet Chapter and Sercrtary, British-Vietnam Friendship Society, D. Kamal Helvavi, Chairman, Global Civilisation Study Centre, London, numerous members of the UK Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy in Bangladesh including Shamsul Alam Chowdhury, Mahidur Rahman, Md. Komor Uddin, Barrister Nazrul Islam and Mia Monirul Alam, Barrister Nazir Ahmed, Prof. Abdul Kader Saleh, Maolana Shoib Hossain, Maolana Siddiqur Rahman. Numerous issues within the country were raised and discussed during the course of the event. Speakers condemned the ongoing arrest, detention, torture and character assassinations of opposition leaders and activists.

They also said freedom of press in the country has been curtailed; many journalists have been killed and tortured by government armed cadres and numerous electronic and print media outlets have been shut down to curb any critical voices. Police brutality was a particular cause for concern as several speakers expressed their alarm regarding the police torture of women and children factory workers amidst the latter’s recent efforts to earn a living wage.

Further issues raised involved the government’s maintenance of a partisan policy in every sector of the state machinery and its appointment of selected staunchly pro-government individuals in key positions. High levels of corruption within the Awami League was also deplored, along with the great rise in countrywide criminal activities, including land-grabbing and muggings by party activists and a growing reign of terror inflicted by the Awami League student wing, Chhatra League, within campuses nationwide. The government’s harmful foreign policy in relation to neighbouring India was also discussed, including the covert signing of treaties to the detriment of Bangladeshi interests, such as a treaty permitting the use of Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Mangla ports in return for nothing.

The country is being reduced to a vassal state due to the submissive foreign policy of the government, they opined. They further commented that while the government has failed to secure the basic needs of its people, including controlling the inflation affecting daily necessities and ensuring a stable supply of water, gas and electricity, they have sought to forcefully and brutally secure their position in power, with India as its ally. The speakers argued that there is no alternative to a mass movement against the misdeeds of the government to save the Bangladeshi people. They urged the opposition political parties to be united in launching a successful strike against this unpopular and oppressive regime.

The speakers vowed that they will prevent any subversive activities to make Bangladesh a failed state by the government of Sheikh Hasina. Speaking on the event, Barrister Nazrul Islam said, ‘in order to justify its own legitimacy and earn the trust of the Bangladeshi and global community, the Awami League must end its gross and deliberate attacks upon critics and opposition forces and must focus upon the genuine interests of its beleaguered people over its own political interests. It must release all wrongly detained opposition leaders and activists and uphold justice. We call upon the Bangladeshi opposition forces to unite behind this demand.

We also call upon our British government and governments worldwide to place pressure on the Bangladeshi Government to bring an end to all infringements upon justice, democracy and human rights and re-establish governance based upon honesty, integrity and the interest of the Bangladeshi people.“ The meeting demanded the immediate unconditional release of senior leaders and former ministers of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Mirza Abbas, Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anny, MP and the editor of the Daily Amardesh, Mahmidur Rahman. They demanded the same for senior leaders and former ministers of Bangladesh Jamaat Islami, including the party Chair and former minister, Matiur Rahman Nizami, Deputy Chair and popular speaker, Allama Delwar Hussain Sayeedi, Secretary General and former minister, Ali Ahsan Mujahid, Senior Assistant Secretary General, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Kader Mollah.

The public meeting concluded by adopting a six point resolution: reestablishment of Human rights in the country; the release of all political opponents; upholding of press freedom; restoring the 72 constitution; re-establishing law and order and finally sovereignty and Bangladeshi control of Bangladeshi borders. The meeting was followed by a major rally beginning from Water Lily and ending in Altab Ali Park in East London.

Press Secretary The UK Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy in Bangladesh London, United Kingdom.

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