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Bangladesh state terrorism condemned by a gathering of thousand in east London

Edit Date:10/4/2011 12:00:00 AM

A unity gathering of community organisations, human rights activists, academics, layers and members of civil society was held in London on Monday 3rd October, to highlight human rights abuses and state-led injustices terrorising the people and members of the opposition in Bangladesh. 

Titled "Bangladesh in Crisis: Government at War with its People", the event was organised by the Bangladesh Crisis Group (BCG) which sought to highlighted the mounting evidence of police brutality, and political arrests that were taking place, forcing the country towards a downward spiral of political chaos in an environment already marred by socio-economic instability. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others have also joined in the condemnation. 

As a show of solidarity with the people of Bangladesh and the strength of their diversity, more than 20 speakers hailing from Bosnia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon as well as prominent British figures addressed a packed audience of a thousand men and women at the London Muslim Centre. Dr Robert Lambert from the European Muslim Research Centre said "bad policing and abuse of power by the state does not bode well for a nation already in crisis", whilst Toby Cad, international criminal law specialist who was recently refused entry to Bangladesh for his criticism of the legal system, said "the law should be protecting people, not oppressing them". Moazzam Begg, former Guantanomo Bay detainee and Tunisian Dr Noureddin Miladi explained how governments use the pretext of the War on Terror to suppress opposition voices, mainly Islamic organisations.

Echoing the above, British writer and broadcaster Jonathan Fryer said British leaders, including the government have a responsibility towards Bangladesh not heading towards the wrong direction. Musleh Faradhi of the Islamic Forum of Europe said, "Muslim nations, inspired by the Arab Spring, will no longer tolerate tyranny and oppression from governments however powerful they may be. Let the power of the people rise and shape the country's destiny". 

Speakers from across the spectrum were unanimous in their analysis of the behaviour of the current government of Bangladesh as clearly undermining the democratic foundations of the country. 

Other speakers included: Faruq Murad from the Muslim Council of Britain, Imam Hazim Fazlik from Bosnia, Majid AlZeer from the Palestinian Return Centre, anti-war campaigner Chris Nineham, Oliver McTernan from Foreward Thinking, Walid Saffour from the Syrian Human Rights Committee, Dilowar Hussain from Islamic Forum of Europe, Mahidur Rahman from the UK Association of Human Rights, Dr Omer Al-Hamdoon president of the Muslim Association of Britain, Hasan Mueenuddin from Da'watul Islam 

BCG secretary and co-chair of the meeting, Abdullah Faliq, after reading a message from the chair of the group Dr Kamal el-Helbawy currently in Egypt, described the meeting as "a historic and momentous gathering, one proven by the very fact that speakers, leaders and experts of all backgrounds responded positively to express their solidarity with the people of Bangladesh". Echoing this Mohammed Kozbar, co-chair of the event and leader of the Lebanese Association in Britain remarked "this is an opportunity for us to work together to cleanse our societies from corrupt leaders and dictators."

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