Justice denied while justice delayed

Its seems that the year 2012 passed in pace by with leaving many joyous events like triumph of Bangladesh Cricket but, the new form of heinous violence against human rights across the country faded off all its good achievements. In addition, hundreds of people victimised by extrajudicial killing, torture, abduction and kidnapping adds fuel to the level of human rights violation over the earlier year. Not very long ago, the most shocking medieval brutality which happened to Biswajit Das, a tailor having no political affiliation, was chopped to kill by ruling Awami League party’s student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League-BCL activists during the nationwide blockade on December 9 last year. The nation as well as civilized society has witnessed the unpardonable crime. Although the government refused that the attack but the media roles to bring it in light made it clear that the crime was committed by whom. Moreover political clash, secret attack on police, sabotage on the road, attack on media activists and public safety was most concerning and media talk over the previous year. According to the human rights watchdog Odhikar reports, in month of November 2012, 11 people were killed and 1643 injured in political violence. 22 incidents of internal violence in the Awami League and 15 in the BNP were also recorded during this period. In addition to this, 2 people were killed and 271 were injured in internal conflicts of the Awami League while 170 were injured in BNP internal conflicts. The activists of Jamat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir brought out procession from November 5 to 20, 2012 in Dhaka and across the country for release of their nine leaders, who were arrested on the allegation of committing crimes against humanity. They also attacked law enforcement agencies and vandalized and set fire to vehicles during the protest. During the riot, one Chhatra Shibir activist, Badiuzzaman died and 570 leaders and activists of Jamat-Shibir were injured. Moreover, 166 police and two journalists were injured during the month long protest. However, in the year 2012, in between the month January and November 152 were killed while 14949 injured, says the watchdog’s report. Not only these, a section of misguided Muslims, attacked, vandalized, looted and burnt down some of Buddhist temple at Ramu in Cox’s Bazar on September 29 laid down once the nation’s head. Another shocking incident, the deadly blazes at Tazreen Fashions Limited in Nischintapur of Ashulia, on the night of November 24 killed at least 112 apparel workers and injured at least 200, of them 100 workers was grievously injured. Looking back at the monster year 2012, it is found that, right to live, right to demonstration and right to hold religion was violated by the state, politician, law enforcement and the miscreants. Human rights defender argued that, these are all happened due to the weak criminal justice system, the tendency of taking the law into one’s own hands is increasing, as people are losing their confidence and faith in the police and judiciary. The rights not only breached inside the country, it is also violated at border. If we look at the border side we observed a good amount of shocking news, which was covered at the national and international media over the bygone year, and that is killing aside the India-Bangladesh border, in where right to free movement of border side villagers has violated. Indian happy trigger mindset border force-BSF gunned down 34 Bangladeshi unarmed civilian while 2 villagers were killed by Indian miscreant at the India-Bangladesh border side, says the Odhikar report from January 2012 to November. In addition 9 Bangladeshi villagers were tortured by BSF while 8 were by Indian criminal at the border side. ‘Unfortunately enough, BSF is violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), violating the right to live and the right to liberty and freedom of movement as well’, says advocate Rabindra Ghosh, coordinator of Global Human Rights Commission (GHRC) Bangladesh unit. However, Article 3 of the Indira-Mujib agreement of 1974, signed by Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on May 16 in 1974 in a bid to solve border conflicts, states that when areas are transferred, the people in these areas shall be given the right of living where they are, as nationals of the state. The agreement had also stressed the completion of pending demarcation of the boundary, exchange of territory through mutual agreement, no disturbance of the status quo and maintenance of peaceful condition at the border regions. Aside from the usual incidents of murder, abuse, accident, robbing and mugging, common people of this country also has one more thing to be concerned about – disappearances. A large number of people have gone missing in the last year. As our social pundits, political leaders and the media contemplate the reasons/motives behind the disappearances, former Home Minister Sahara Khatun presented an explanation for it during a parliamentary session on 10 February last year. She said, “There is no term like disappearance in the language of law; in criminal jurisprudence it is termed as abduction,” dispelling the contentions regarding the disappearances. According to media reports and victim’s family, the culprits, posing as law enforcers, picked up the victims from their homes and streets. Later, dead bodies of some of them were found, while the rest remain missing. The government has not yet succeeded to trace and retrieve the missing 24 people. According to statistics provided by Odhikar, a local human rights group, 24 people went missing during the period of 1 January-30 November last year. Interestingly, government authorities initially refused to acknowledge the growing occurrences of ‘secret killings and forced disappearances’ as a major concern, despite serious criticism from all quarters of the civil society. Several local and foreign human rights organisations have also spoken out, expressing their concern over the matter and the slide in law and order. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) asked the Home Ministry to provide it with a report on missing people. Human Rights Watch (HRW), a New York-based human rights organisation, addressed this issue in its World Report 2012. ‘The Bangladesh government has failed to properly investigate tortures in custody and extrajudicial killings and prosecute the perpetrators during 2011,’ it said. It also said that the practice of extrajudicial killings disguised as ‘crossfire killings’ seeped from the RAB into other law-enforcement institutions, particularly the police. However, last year grossly violated the constitutional rights of the citizen by the government as well as by the law enforcement. ‘The article 31 (Right to protection of law), 32 (Protection of right to life and personal liberty), 33 (Safeguards as to arrest and detention), 34 (Prohibition of forced labour) and 35 (Protection in respect of trial and punishment) has breached in every moment of the day in last year’, says Mizbahul Anuar, a Supreme Court lawyer. The article 31 says ‘to enjoy the protection of the law, and to be treated in accordance with law, and only in accordance with law, is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Bangladesh, and in particular no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law’. While the Article 35(5) provides that no person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. This clause relates to punishment upon conviction for a criminal offence. In our view it is all the more applicable to persons who have not committed any offence and who cannot be subjected to such treatment for acts and behaviour which does not amount to a criminal offence. ‘The government should ensure economic, social and cultural rights of the citizens, as proper development of a country was not possible without ensuring the rights’, said Mizanur Rahman chief of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to the media at a conference. ‘We have been listening that we are poor and our resources are limited. We don’t want to hear this sort of speech any more. We want to see that the government is serious to ensure the economic, social and cultural rights of the citizens,’ he added. ‘Rights are for only those who have money and power. Now, of course, in all countries of the world money plays an important role. Although human rights are supposed to be equal for everyone,’ said Yahya Hassan Bajwa, at a Bangladeshi media. Yahya Hassan Bajwa a Pakistani-born Swiss politician, a member on the central committee of the Green Party Switzerland and human rights defender.

নিজের সম্পর্কে লেখক

বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছাত্রাবস্থায় ভবগুরে জীবন, মুখে মাছির মতন ভঁন ভঁন করত পুঁজিবাদ পতন হোক, শোষিত মানুষ মুক্তিপাক, ইত্যাদি। এসবের কারণে বিপক্ষ রাজনৈতিক শিবিরেরে হুমকি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের ছাত্রজীবন ছিল তিক্তাতায় ভরা। এরপর, দুটি কর্পোরেট ডিগ্রী হাতে আর অন্যদের মত মধ্যবিত্ত পরিবারের মগজে বেনিয়াদের ফেলে যাওয়া সেই ‘স্বেচ্ছা-শোষিত’ হবার স্বপ্ন গোঁজা নিয়ে ঢাকায় চাকরীর খুঁজে এসেই স্বেচ্ছায় মজদুর রাজনীতিতে যুক্ত হওয়া, যদিও মজদুর রাজনীতির হাতেকড়ি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের শুরু থেকেই এমন এক ছাত্রের হাত ধরে যে কিনা প্রথম বর্ষেই পুলিশের বন্দুক কেড়ে নেয়ার অপরাধে জেল-জরিমানা হয়। ডিগ্রীগুলো আমাকে কর্পোরেট চাকরী সহজেই পাইয়ে দিল বটে কিন্তু ক্ষুধিত মন চায় না এ জীবন এবং অবশেষে ইস্তফা। এদিকে মার্কস-এঙ্গেলস অন্যদিকে সেতং-লেলিন-স্তালিন এর দেখিয়ে দেয়া পথ আর ফিদেল-গুয়েভরার অসাধ্য সাধনের কয়েক গাছী গল্প বুক পকেটে নিয়ে আজীবন রাজনীতি করার প্রতিজ্ঞা এবং কলেজ শিক্ষতা সহ ঢাকায় ভালই কাটছিল। কিন্তু বছর ফিরতেই বাণিজ্যিক শিক্ষালয়ের শিক্ষক হিসেবে নিজের কাছেই যখন অপমানিত তখন শুরু করে দিলাম ঢাকা’র নামকরা একটি প্রভাবশালী জাতীয় ইংরেজি পত্রিকার ল্যাজ ধরে সাংবাদিকতা। সবে সাংবাদিকতার অ-আ গিলছি মাত্র কিন্তু পরিশ্রম ছিল অমানবিক তবে কজে ছিল নুন্যতম স্বাধীনতা যেন ভালই লাগছিল, আবার, আগে শিক্ষক হিসেবে যা পেতাম এখন তারও চেয়ে অনেক কম মাইনে নিয়ে যখন সারাদিন দিনে আনি দিনে খাই এমন, তখন পকেট আর পেট থেকে আবার পেশা পাল্টানোর তাড়না। কিন্তু হয়ে উঠেনি, কেনেনা ঠিক একবছর পরে কিন্তু একদিন ২০-২২ শে অগাস্ট ২০০৭ অন্তরবর্তী সেনাপুষ্ট তিনউদ্দিন সরকারের দেশজুড়ে জরুরীঅবস্থা জারি এবং আবুল বাশারের ‘অগ্নি বলাকা’ পাল্টে দেয় আমার মত, এবং আজঅব্ধি সাংবাদিক (সাংঘাতিক!)। প্রমোশন পেয়েছি, তবে এখনো দিনে আনি দিনে খাই এমনটি রয়েছে আগেরমত। তবে জীবন আমার শরৎ-উপন্যাসের নায়কদের মতনই ছিল, এখনো তায়, কেনান জীবনের চরম সময়গুলোতে এক আঁজলা জল খাওয়ানোর মত নায়িকার আবির্ভাব আমাকে টিকিয়ে দিয়েছে। সে নায়িকা দিদি,খালা অথবা সুন্দরিতমা। আমি ‘অগ্নি বলাকা’র রাহুল নই আবার লাল বই ও আমার ব্যাগে নেই তবে মাওবাদী বলে আমাকে অনেকে গালি দেয় আর বলে রাহুলের বড় দাদা ‘বুলুবনের’ ভাষায় প্রতিক্রিয়াশীল। তাতে আমার কিছুই যায় আসে না কিন্তু রাহুলের বিপ্লবী বন্ধু এবং সহযোদ্ধা ‘কবি’র প্রতি সংগঠনের অন্যায় সিদ্ধান্ত আমাকে বিষণ ভাবায় কেনান কবি’র মৃত্যুটি সুন্দর ছিল না। এবং আমার এখনো বিশ্বাস করতে কষ্ট হয় সেই সর্বহারা সংগঠন কীভাবে নিজের দলের কর্মিকে হত্যা করতে পারে যেমন করেছিলো আমার সেই বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে পুলিশের বন্দুক কেড়ে নেয়া বন্ধুটির বেলায়।

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