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Families of missing persons going to Human Rights Council

  • Published at 12:48 am January 7th, 2018
Families of missing persons going to Human Rights Council
It has been nearly four years since Sajedul Islam was picked up by unknown men near Dhaka’s Bashundhara Residential Area. Later, when Sajedul’s sister Sanjida Islam went to the police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) to file a missing person’s case, they refused to record it. Frustrated by the lack of cooperation from the law enforcement agencies in the last four years, Sanjida has decided to raise the issue with a United Nations Working Group. She is also thinking of filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. Sanjida said that she received a high court rule in 2016, where the court asked why forcefully abducting a person and detaining him should not be declared illegal. She is hopeful that a solution can be found based on the high court rule, otherwise she will have no choice but to go to the International Human rights Council. “It has been four years since my brother went missing. We want to know about his whereabouts and if he is guilty, he should be judged according to law,” she said. Similarly, Shafiqur Rahman, father of Gulshan Thana Jatiyabadi Chhatra Dal’s (JCD) publicity secretary Saifur Rahman is also waiting for the return of his son, who went missing on February 18, 2015. Speaking to the Bangla Tribune, he said that the families of the missing persons have come together and are thinking of putting pressure on the government by international means to bring a resolution to the issue of the missing persons. In its annual report, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organization said that 91 people went missing in 2017. The overall human rights situation in 2017 was alarming with kidnappings, disappearances, extrajudicial killings and others. All classes of people ranging from former ambassadors to government officials, university teachers, journalists, businessmen, journalists, leaders of political parties, municipal mayors and many others have been affected. According to information from media reports, 544 people went missing in the last 10 years and 10 months. Of these, 395 people are still missing. In the first 10 months of 2017, 50 people disappeared, out of whom 38 still remain missing. Meanwhile, human rights activists have said that complaints can be filed in the various wings of the UN which deal with missing persons. They can also conduct their own investigations and request a complainant to look into the matter. Former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission Dr. Mizanur Rahman told the Bangla Tribune that families of missing persons can file their complaints to the Human Rights Council. “There is little possibility for the families of the missing persons to go to international court. Since Bangladesh is a signatory of the United Nations Human Rights Council, families of missing persons can file their complaints in the council against the state.” He also suggested that the families of missing persons write personally to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in January to put pressure on the government.   This article was first published in Bangla Tribune