Tag: bangladesh

No, Bangladesh, The Truth is Not a ‘Smear Campaign’

(HRW) – Just hours after Human Rights Watch released an 82-page report on secret detentions and enforced disappearances in Bangladesh, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan claimed it was a “smear campaign.” Callously ignoring victims’ families who are desperately waiting for answers, he told local media: “Whom…

For the sake of the tiger

Bangladesh (NI) – Prioritizing animal conservation over human life is having repercussions for locals in the Sundarbans. From Kolkata to the bustling market town of Canning: an hour-long train journey in the women’s carriage. It is so cramped that no…

The ongoing genocide in Myanmar

How the international community is failing to protect the Rohingya people.

At this moment, a genocide is happening in Myanmar of which most of the world is unaware. On 9 October 2016, three border posts were attacked in Western Myanmar by an unknown armed group, killing nine policemen. Following the attack, Myanmar government forces have been conducting a coordinated attack on the civilian population which includes mass killing, rape, torture and the burning of houses and crop fields. Because security forces have locked down the whole area, it is difficult to verify the reports of violence. Utilising independent sources, Voice of America has reported that the death toll could be 150 to 300 so far. Based on satellite imagery, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has observed that 1,250 houses or buildings have been destroyed as of 18 November.

As a result of the military crackdown, thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes; many are attempting to enter neighbouring Bangladesh by crossing the Naaf river. However, the Bangladeshi government has refused to accept more Rohingya, stating that the highly-populated country is already hosting half a million Rohingya who have fled the previous violence.

Burma: New Wave of Destruction in Rohingya Villages

820 Newly Identified Destroyed Buildings; UN-Aided Investigation Urgently Needed

New satellite imagery of Burma’s Rakhine State shows 820 newly identified structures destroyed in five different ethnic Rohingya villages between November 10-18, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The Burmese government should without further delay invite the United Nations to assist in an impartial investigation of the widespread destruction of villages.

The latest images bring the total number of destroyed buildings documented by Human Rights Watch in northern Rakhine State through satellite imagery to 1,250. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, at a November 17 UN Security Council meeting on the deteriorating situation in Rakhine State, called for international observers to be allowed to investigate and for aid groups to have their access restored. After a short visit by diplomats to the area, Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on Burma, said on November 18, “The security forces must not be given carte blanche to step up their operations under the smokescreen of having allowed access to an international delegation. Urgent action is needed to bring resolution to the situation.”

Child dehydration test outperforms WHO standard

A new diagnostic technique to determine dehydration caused by diarrhoea in children is more reliable and accurate than existing methods, say scientists who were part of a US-Bangladesh team that developed it.

The DHAKA (acronym for Dehydration: Assess Kids Accurately) score was tested on 496 under-five children under a validation study and the results published in Lancet Global Health, last month (August).

According to the study, the DHAKA score is significantly better in performance than the current standard, the WHO’s Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI).

British journalist, 81, facing death penalty, enters 4th month of Bangladeshi detention

An elderly British journalist who could face the death penalty in Bangladesh will tomorrow have been jailed without charge for 4 months, amid worsening fears for his wellbeing.

Shafik Rehman, 81, is a well known journalist and editor in Bangladesh who has also worked as a speechwriter for the country’s main opposition party. On April 16th this year, he was arrested without a warrant in his home, by plainclothes officers who reportedly posed as a TV camera crew. Mr Rehman has been held ever since then without charge, but it is feared that if charged he may face trial for crimes which could carry the death penalty. A Supreme Court hearing later this month will consider Mr Rehman’s case.

Press freedom groups call on Bangladesh to release British journalist, 81

Dozens of press freedom groups around the world are calling on Bangladesh to free an elderly British journalist held without charge for over three months.

In a joint letter to Bangladesh’s justice minister Anisul Huq, 26 groups highlight their “serious concerns” about the ongoing detention and treatment of Shafik Rehman, 81, who is in custody in Dhaka.

Signatories include Index on Censorship, the International Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders/RSF. Reprieve, the human rights organisation who coordinated the letter, is concerned that Mr Rehman could be charged with offences that carry a potential death penalty.

UK-funded Bangladesh police squad arrested British journalist

The UK government has been funding the Bangladesh police squad that arrested an elderly British journalist who potentially faces a death sentence, human rights group Reprieve has discovered.

Shafik Rehman, an 81 year old British grandfather, is a prominent journalist and opposition figure in Bangladesh. He was arrested in April 2016 by plainclothes officers from the country’s Detective Branch, amid a recent crackdown on free speech in Bangladesh.

Mr Rehman continues to be held without charge, having so far been denied bail, and is in poor health. Officials in Bangladesh have accused him of offences including sedition and it is feared that if charged he may face the death penalty. However, no evidence has been presented to his lawyers and the case appears politically motivated.