Update: Tasneem Khalil’s interview by Arafatul Islam of DW-WORLD is added.
[An E-Bangladesh commentary.]
Human Rights Watch, the international Human rights watchdog that conducts research and advocacy on human rights published today an exclusive report on tortures in Bangladesh. This report presents the testimony of Tasneem Khalil, a Bangladeshi journalist and the representative of CNN and Human Rights Watch in Bangladesh, recounting his torture at the hands of Bangladesh’s military intelligence agency, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI).
Human Rights Watch says:
“To our knowledge, this is the most detailed public account of a case of torture in Bangladesh available anywhere. It demonstrates the nature of ongoing state-sponsored violence in Bangladesh, including the torture of critics of the current government.
What happened to Tasneem Khalil – which, sadly, is not uncommon – makes clear that when it comes to human rights a critical part of what was promised is not being fulfilled. After one year, the state of emergency not only remains in place but is being used to limit political party activity and restrict freedom of expression and assembly, with torture a frequent consequence for those who do not toe the line and end up in the custody of the security services.
Increased domestic and international pressure to end such abuses cannot await elections or formation of a new government. The fundamental rights set out in the Constitution should be immediately restored and respected. Ending illegal arrests and torture should not await an election. These should be a top priority of the interim government. Those members of the security forces who have been responsible for such egregious human rights violations should be brought to justice.”
Read the horrid accounts of abuses against Tasneem Khalil here . Read how he was terrorized and maligned after his release due to international pressure only to find recluse in exile. You can also download the full report (pdf format) available in the Human Rights Watch Website.