UPDATE (Bangladesh): Judicial Probe Commission has yet to submit its report regarding police brutality
June 12, 2006
UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL UPDATE ON URGENT APPEAL
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Update on Urgent Appeal
12 June 2006
[UP-095-2006: BANGLADESH: Government names District Judge to conduct a judicial probe into the police brutality on journalists; RE: UP-089-2006: BANGLADESH: Government names the head of the judicial probe commission into the police brutality on journalists; UA-128-2006: BANGLADESH: Journalists beaten by the police at the Chittagong stadium]
UP-121-2006: BANGLADESH: Judicial Probe Commission has yet to submit its report regarding police brutality
BANGLADESH: Torture; intimidation; threat; deprivation of professional duty; collapse of rule of law
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the case of police brutality on journalists at the Chittagong stadium on 16 April 2006. We have now learned that the established Judicial Probe Commission has yet to submit its report despite having declared that it would do so by May 17. We have also learned that a separate report, submitted to the government, has recommended paying compensation of Taka 1,436,397 (around USD 21,000) to twenty journalists, who were wounded and had their cameras damaged. Furthermore, a departmental inquiry has accused three police officers for the brutality on the journalists. However, despite this the government has not taken any action.
On April 24, the Government of Bangladesh announced that the District and Session Judge of the Comilla district, Mr. Shawkat Hossain, would be responsible for undertaking a judicial probe into the Chittagong stadium incident, and that he would submit a report within 15 days (from the start of his mission) detailing his findings.
The probe commission started its investigation on May 7 and continued until May 17. The commission itself declared that it would submit its report by May 17. However, the commission has not yet submitted its investigation report despite one month having now passed. Furthermore, the journalists' leaders allege that the judicial probe commission recorded statements from a number of fake 'eye-witnesses' who are believed to be police sources and relatives of the policemen and the alleged perpetrators.
Meanwhile, a seven-member committee headed by the Joint Secretary of the Information Ministry, Mr. Mir Mosharraf Hossain, submitted its report to the Minister of the same ministry. The report recommended paying Taka 1,436,397 (approximately USD 21,000) as compensation to twenty journalists, who were injured by the police brutality and suffered damage to their cameras. The government arranged medical treatment for two journalists, namely Mr. Anurup Roy Titu, who was sent to Bamrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand and Mr. Shamsul Haque Tengku, who received treatment from the Apollo Hospital in Dhaka.
The departmental inquiry conducted by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Aminul Islam, submitted his report to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on May 3. The report accused three persons, namely Deputy Commissioner Mr. Akbor Ali Khan, Assistant Commissioner Mr. Enamul Kabir and Sergeant Mr. Anwar Hossain as responsible for the brutality on the journalists. However, the IGP opined that he would prefer the judicial probe commission's report to take action regarding the case. At the same time, the journalist community warned that if the judicial probe report is found to be distorted, for example based on 'fake eye-witnesses' statements, then they will take further action.
Please write to the relevant authorities listed below voicing your concerns over the current state of this case. Please urge the government to ensure that the judicial probe commissions report is submitted without further delay. Please also ask that the recommended compensation be paid at once. Please also insist the government to hold the alleged perpetrators accountable for the crimes they committed.
BANGLADESH: Judicial Probe Commission has yet to submit its report regarding police brutality
I am writing to express my concern regarding the delay of the judicial probe commission's report into the incident involving the police brutality on journalists in Chittagong during the second test cricket match between Bangladesh and Australia.
According to the information I have received, the Judicial Probe Commission headed by the District and Session Judge of Comilla district, Mr. Shawkat Hossain, started investigations into this incident on May 7 but has not yet submitted its investigation report despite one month having now passed. The report was supposed to be submitted on May 17.
While I welcome the recommendation by another committee headed by the Joint Secretary of the Information Ministry, Mr. Mir Mosharraf Hossain, regarding the payment of compensation to wounded journalists for their treatment and damage to their cameras, I am concerned that the absence of the probe report is bringing a greater injustice to this case. I have also learned that the judicial probe commission recorded statements of 'fake eye-witnesses', who are believed to be the sources and relatives to the alleged perpetrators and other policemen. This, obviously, is entirely unacceptable and such statements must be withdrawn at once.
I have also been informed that the departmental inquiry conducted by the Deputy Inspector General of Police has accused three police officers, namely Deputy Commissioner Mr. Akbor Ali Khan, Assistant Commissioner Mr. Enamul Kabir and Sergeant Mr. Anwar Hossain, of being responsible for the attack on the journalists. Despite these findings the alleged perpetrators have not yet been prosecuted.
In light of this I strongly urge you to take initiatives to ensure that the probe report is submitted without any further delay. I also urge the authorities in Bangladesh to prosecute the alleged perpetrators. Failure to do this will deny justice to all concerned.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mrs. Begum Khaleda Zia
The Government of the Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh
Office of the Prime Minister
Old Parliament House,
Tel: +880 2 8828160-79, 9888677
Fax: +880 2 8113244 or 3243 or 1015 or 1490
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (to the Secretary)
2. Mr. Md. Lutfozzaman Babor MP
The Ministry of Home Affairs
The Government of the Peoples¡¦ Republic of Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Secretariat
Tel: +880 2 7169069 (O) or 8359000 (R)
Fax: +880 2 7160405, +880 2 7164788
3. Mr. Sayed J. R. Modassir Hossain
The Chief Justice
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Supreme Court Building
Tel: +880 2 9562792
Fax: +880 2 9565058
4. Mr. A J Mohammad Ali
Attorney General of Bangladesh
Office of the Attorney General
Supreme Court Building
Tel: +880 2 9562868
Fax: +880 2 9561568
5. Mr. Abdul Quayum
Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Tel: +880 2 9562054 or 7176451 or 7176677 (O), +880 2 8362552 or 8362553 (R)
Fax: +880 2 9563362 or 9563363
6. Mr. Shawkat Hossain
District and Session Judge
Office of the District and Session Judge
Tel: +88 081 76209 (O) or 76959 (R)
Fax: +88 081 77567 (O)
7. Mr. M Mazedul Haque
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP)
Tel: +88 031 624100 (O)
Fax: +88 031 621565 (O)
8. Prof. Manfred Nowak
Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture
Attn: Mr. Safir Syed
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9230
Fax: +41 22 9179016 (general)
Urgent Appeal Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (email@example.com)