Forced disappearance in Bangladesh

Forced Disappearances in Bangladesh first occurred under Sheikh Mujib's regime between 1972 - 1975. Many members of Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, army officers and other opposition party members were picked up by Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini, an elite para-military force formed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[1]

Forced disappearance did not happen frequently or continuously in Bangladesh until 2010. Since then, under the Awami League regime, at least 205 people have been forcefully disappeared by the state security forces[2][3] and continuing every month.

According to the report of a domestic human rights organization, 82 people were forcefully disappeared from January to September in 2014.[4] The activists and leaders of opposition parties constitute the majority of the victims. After the disappearances, a few of the victims were found dead while others remained missing.[5] Before the controversial national election of 2014, at least 19 opposition men were picked up by the security forces.[6]


After the Awami League party assumed power in the country through election in 2009, law and order situation began to deteriorate with opposition men being attacked by the ruling party men that left several opposition men killed and many others injured.[7][8][9] Armed conflicts and violence erupted in the university campuses throughout the country.[10] Political activities of the opposition parties were often attacked.[11] From 2010, picking up of opposition leaders and activists by the state security forces began to surge in the country.

Pre-election period of 2013

Throughout most of 2013, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its alliance observed nationwide general strikes and blockades in demand of a non-partisan interim government or a caretaker government to hold the next general election of 2014. The E.U., the U.S. and the Commonwealth announced that they would not send observers since they were concerned about the credibility of the election.[12][13][14] Before the controversial national election of 2014, allegedly 19 opposition men were picked up by security forces.[6] Other media and human rights organizations have cited the number to be from eight to ten.[15][16] As of 2015, they remained missing.[6]

Notable cases

Chowdhury Alam

Probably the recorded case of enforced disappearance was that of Chowdhury Alam. On 25 June 2010, an opposition leader Chowdhury Alam was arrested by the state police and remained missing since then.[17] His abduction was later denied by the law enforcing agencies.[18]

Ilyas Ali

On 17 April 2012, Ilyas Ali, another prominent leader of the main opposition party BNP, went missing after last being seen in Dhaka at midnight with his driver.[19][20][21] His private car was found abandoned near his Dhaka home.[21] In the following days, five of his party men died and many were injured as they observed strikes and demonstration programs in protest of the disappearance.[20] The incident got much media coverage.

Aminul Islam

Aminul Islam, a Bangladeshi trade unionist, was a member of Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation and an organizer for the Bangladesh Center of Worker Solidarity.[22] On 5 April 2012, Islam’s dead body was found near Dhaka after being disappeared earlier.[22][23] The body bore marks of torture.[22][23] His disappearance and murder sparked much international criticism.[23]

Salahuddin Ahmed

Joint secretary general of BNP went missing on March 10, 2015. He was picked up by group of unknown people from Uttara, Dhaka.[24] He was later found arrested by police in Shillong, India.[25]

Others cases


The incidents of enforced disappearances were condemned by both domestic and international human rights organizations. The main opposition party BNP has held the government responsible for conducting these forced disappearances,[45][46] and demanded an UN-sponsored investigation into such cases.[47] The British parliament frequently expressed concerns over the forced disappearances of political opponents in Bangladesh.[48][49] During her visit to Bangladesh in 2012, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern over the disappearance of Ilyas Ali and Aminul Islam.[20] Despite the demands for the government initiatives to probe such disappearances, investigations into such cases were absent.[6][50][51]

See also


  1. Mascarenhas, Anthony (1986). BANGLADESH - A Legacy of Blood. United Kingdom: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 113. ISBN 0-340-39420-X.
  2. "International Week of the Disappeared" (PDF). Statement on the International Week of the Disappeared. Odhikar. 25 May 2015.
  3. David Bergman (20 Oct 2014). "'Forced disappearances' surge in Bangladesh". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network.
  4. "ASK DOCUMENTATION: Forced Disappearances" (PDF). Incidents of Enforced Disappearances Between January and 30 September 2014. Ain o Salish Kendra. 13 October 2014.
  5. Anbarasan, Ethirajan (21 April 2012). "'Enforced disappearances' haunt Bangladesh". BBC News.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE: Families call for return of 19 youths". New Age. 5 December 2015.
  7. "Reluctance of law enforcers leads to increase in crimes". The Daily Star. January 17, 2009.
  8. "Killing spate scales up sense of insecurity". The Daily Star. June 14, 2009.
  9. "Editorial: Regrettable post-election incidents". January 4, 2009.
  10. "Editorial: Once again, it is the BCL". The Daily Star. March 13, 2010.
  11. "2009 Human Rights Report: Bangladesh". US Department of State. March 11, 2010.
  12. "Election monitors to boycott Bangladesh polls". Al Jazeera English.
  13. Alam, Julhas (2014-01-05). "Violence, low turnout mar elections in Bangladesh". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
  14. Barry, Ellen (6 January 2014). "Low Turnout in Bangladesh Elections Amid Boycott and Violence". The New York Times.
  15. "Democracy in the Crossfire: Opposition Violence and Government Abuses in the 2014 Pre- and Post-Election Period in Bangladesh" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. April 2014. ISBN 978-1-62313-1272.
  16. "Abduction and disappearance: Making the State accountable". The Daily Star. 7 May 2014.
  17. "DCC councillor Chowdhury Alam arrested". The Daily Star. 26 June 2010.
  18. "How Alam was abducted: Driver's account". The Daily Star. 13 July 2010.
  19. "Ilias Ali, driver go missing". The Daily Star. April 19, 2012.
  20. 1 2 3 "Ilyas Ali, Bangladesh Politician, Kidnapping Sparks Bangladesh Crisis". Huffington Post. 9 May 2012.
  21. 1 2 "Strike turns violent in Bangladeshi town of Sylhet". BBC News. BBC. 23 April 2012.
  22. 1 2 3 Vikas Bajaj, Julfikar Ali Manik (9 April 2012). "Killing of Bangladeshi Labor Organizer Signals an Escalation in Violence". The New York Times. New York.
  23. 1 2 3 Yardley, Jim (2012-09-09). "Fighting for Bangladesh Labor, and Ending Up in Pauper's Grave". New York Times.
  24. "BNP leader Salahuddin says he was kidnapped from Uttara".
  25. "Missing Bangladesh opposition spokesman surfaces in India".
  26. "Interview of IT specialist Tanvir Hasan Zoha".
  27. "IT expert Zoha goes missing".
  28. "'IT expert' Zoha goes missing".
  29. "Zoha found six days after disappearance".
  30. "Friend of Tonu's brother missing for 7 days". Prothom Alo. 3 April 2016.
  31. "Sohag shows up after 16 days".
  32. 1 2 3 "Help us". The Daily Star.
  33. "Picked up, they never return".
  34. "They want justice".
  35. "WHY?".
  37. "Take steps to bring them back".
  38. "Disappearance panic spreads in Pabna villages".
  39. 1 2 "Even 'crossfire' not this worse".
  40. 1 2 3 "Rise in 'forced disappearance'".
  41. "Missing JCD leader reportedly found in police custody".
  42. 1 2 "Many victims, one story, one demand".
  43. "AL leader 'missing' after complain on party mate".
  44. "The unending woes of uncertainty".
  45. "Bangladesh opposition leader 'undeterred' by arrests". BBC News. 21 May 2012.
  46. "Same group kidnapped Ilias Ali". The Daily Star. 19 April 2014.
  47. "BNP demands UN-sponsored investigation into abductions". New Age. 5 August 2015.
  48. "UK does not agree with Bangladesh govt views". The Daily Star. 26 May 2016.
  50. "Bangladesh: Investigate Case of Enforced Disappearance". New York: Human Rights Watch. 17 March 2015.
  51. "Editorial: The disappearance of Chowdhury Alam". The Daily Star. 14 July 2010.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.