By Mizan Rahman – Leaders of religious minority groups in Bangladesh yesterday sought commitment from political leaders for their security in the wake of recent nationwide attacks on Hindu houses and temples.
The leaders said they feared such attacks would run through to next elections.
Five people were killed, at least 47 temples and 1,500 houses belonging to Hindus were vandalised or set on fire during the recent attacks in 37 districts, according to Bangladesh Puja Udjapon Parishad.
by CPJ – Authorities in Bangladesh must immediately investigate attacks on a journalist’s car and a local press club that occurred within a day of each other, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The attacks took place amid massive politicized strikes and demonstrations that have swept the country.
“The authorities must intervene swiftly to stop these incidents of intimidation through violence,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. “It is vital that in these turbulent times journalists in Bangladesh are able to work safely and freely.”
by Amnesty International – A wave of violent attacks against Bangladesh’s minority Hindu community shows the urgent need for authorities to provide them with better protection, Amnesty International said.
Over the past week, individuals taking part in strikes called for by Islamic parties have vandalised more than 40 Hindu temples across Bangladesh.
by Asian Human Rights Commission – The tribunal on war crimes established in March 2010 has pushed Bangladesh to extreme violence. Since 28 February, the events have taken a violent turn in which almost 100 persons including women, children and police officers have lost life. Several hundreds more are injured, and properties destroyed of which no body in the country has any true count. Many, who have lost their lives or are injured, were not participating in any armed protest. They were unfortunate to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Both state and non-state actors are responsible for these gruesome events, of which the government apparently has no control.
Parts of Bangladesh, including the capital Dhaka, turned into a battlefield when members of the Jamaat Shibir, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, clashed with the police after the Friday afternoon prayers. Hundreds have been injured with four people killed in the violence that erupted across the country.
The main target of the planned protest marches by 12 Islamic organisations who have accused the government and the media of targeting the Jamaat, were mediapersons.
Long-standing antagonism between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh National Party—what critics call “zero-sum politics”—set off street violence that threatened the safety of journalists. A constitutional amendment eliminated the creation of caretaker governments to oversee general elections, a step likely to intensify political passions surrounding the scheduled 2013 vote. The Bangladesh National Party called for political agitation and suggested it may boycott the election. The amendment also criminalized criticism of the constitution itself, labeling such dissent as sedition. A group of machete-wielding assailants killed Jamal Uddin, a reporter who covered the drug trade for a Bengali-language newspaper in Jessore district. The June slaying ended a nearly seven-year period in which no Bangladeshi journalist had been killed in direct relation to journalism. Mystery surrounded the double murder of married journalists Meherun Runi and Golam Mustofa Sarowar. The authorities made arrests in the case but disclosed no motive. CPJ is investigating to determine whether the double slaying was work-related.
Activists are calling for stronger action to address rising levels of corruption in Bangladesh’s troubled public health care system.
“The government must strengthen its monitoring system to check corruption in public hospitals to ensure health access to under-privileged people,” said Nitai Kanti Das, member secretary of the Health Rights Movement, a forum of 92 organizations working to establish community health rights.
by Palash R. Ghosh – Four months after a rampage by Muslims in Bangladesh destroyed their temples and homes, thousands of Buddhists in this country are still trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
Those bloody clashes, which made scores of Buddhists in this overwhelmingly Islamic state homeless, were allegedly triggered after the Facebook account of a Buddhist youth organization posted an image insulting to the Quran, the Muslim Holy Book. (A later probe into this incident showed the youth group in question had nothing to do with the questionable image.)
By Anbarasan Ethirajan – Shashanko Barua’s voice trembles when he recounts how he and his family ran for their lives to escape an angry Muslim mob last year.
They hid in a forest for a whole night near their village in the south-eastern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar before returning home.
Mr Barua, a Buddhist, says that when he returned to the village, he found his small tin-roof house had been completely destroyed and all his belongings looted. His neighbours also faced similar fates.
by Human Rights Watch – Bangladesh’s human rights situation worsened in 2012 as the government sought to narrow political and civil society space, continued to shield security forces from prosecution for abuses, failed to investigate disappearances and killings, and announced stringent rules to monitor non-governmental organizations, Human Rights Watch said in its 2013 World Report released today.
In its 665-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including an analysis of the aftermath of the Arab Spring.