The Amnesty International has called for urgent action on the disappearance of academic Mubashar Hasan Cesar, who has been missing since November 7.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the rights group said the North South University (NSU) teacher may have been subject to an enforced disappearance.
The statement said: “Friends of Mubashar Hasan fear that he may have been subject to an enforced disappearance for his work as an academic researcher."
“Mubashar Hasan has not been seen since he attended a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) meeting in Dhaka, which is part of a project under the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s Office.”
“Mubashar Hasan left the meeting at around 6:30pm. Soon after, according to a journalist who obtained his phone records, his phone was no longer working,” the statement added.
Amnesty said: “During the past three years, hundreds of people – mainly opposition activists - have been illegally detained and held in secret detention.
“Over the past fortnight, however, there have been credible reports of other activists going missing, raising fears of a wider crackdown. Victims of enforced disappearance in Bangladesh are at high risk of suffering torture and other ill-treatment.”
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The rights group urged Bangladesh government to order an immediate investigation into Mubashar’s fate and whereabouts, keeping his family fully informed and updated at all times.
It asked the government to order an immediate, impartial, independent and efficient investigation into this and all other enforced disappearances, publicly disclose the findings and bring those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.
Amnesty urged the authorities to end the practice of enforced disappearances and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Besides, it also called on the government to ensure that activists, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and members of the political opposition are able to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.
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Mubashar, an assistant professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in North South University, went missing on November 7.
Later, his family filed a General Diary (GD) with Khilgaon police station with Wednesday following his disappearance.
He is also a former student of mass communication and journalism at Dhaka University.