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Apr-28-2012 12:11printcomments

BANGLADESH: Warn Government to Stop Waging War Against its Own People

Salem-News Human Rights Ambassador William Gomes contacts Hillary Clinton over human rights violations in Bangladesh.

U.S. Sec of State Hillary Clinton

(HONG KONG) - Enforced disappearance has become a matter of everyday life in Bangladesh. The United States is a political ally of Bangladesh. This is excellent, until one realizes the complicity the U.S. shares in the slaughter and harming of Bangladeshi people. The ever-powerful Americans see themselves as a savior of the oppressed, they should not be part of the system that violates human rights.

In this special letter to Hillary Clinton, our Human Rights Ambassador William Gomes, appeals to Clinton for her intervention in halting the Bangladeshi killing squad 'Rapid Action Battalion' (RAB) and Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) with technical and non-technical support.

According to the information the US is supplying the weapons manufacturer Browning, M1911, .45ACP Caliber Semi-automatic pistol and Remington 870, 12gauge Semi-automatic shotguns have been provided to RAB. US officials haev directly helped and trained RAB officials in both the US and in Bangladesh. Their stated goal was to set up a specialized center for data mining and Telephone Interception. A similar aid to the intrusion of privacy was given to DGFI by the US government. It is an understatement to call these developments alarming. Both agencies are engaged in the use of these technologies for the purpose of trapping innocent people, and shadowing and arresting political activists, human rights defenders and journalists.



April 29, 2012

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520-0001

Re: BANGLADESH: Warn government to stop waging war against its own people

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem News.com. I am writing to you concerning your upcoming trip to Bangladesh from May 5-7, 2012. I believe this trip is an important opportunity to raise issues such as accountability of the Law enforcement agencies, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. The United States has placed great emphasis on its deepening relationship with Bangladesh and I believe this in turn creates an opportunity and an obligation to discuss serious human rights violations continuing in the country. I urge you to emphasize good governance, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. These are essential to providing the conditions favorable to economic progress in Bangladesh.

I appreciate your attention to these important human rights concerns.

Your visit is a timely opportunity to deliver clear and unambiguous messages to senior government officials. I ask you to:

  1. Urge the Bangladesh government to take all necessary measures to ensure that the military, law enforcement agencies and intelligence services abide by international human rights law.
  2. Ensure that the Bangladesh government appropriately investigates and prosecutes military, law enforcement agencies and intelligence officers who had commited torture and other serious human rights violations.
  3. Advocate for transparency and good governance in Bangladesh.
  4. Push for accountability to ensure that those responsible for serious human rights abuses, including enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killings, and custodial torture are prosecuted, regardless of rank.
  5. Pledge serious, high-level, and consistent diplomatic engagement by the US government to help find solutions to the ongoing political crisis where democracy is under threat in Bangladesh.

I urge you; please stop helping the killings squad Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) with technical and non-technical supports. According to the information US is supplying Browning M1911, .45ACP Caliber Semi-automatic pistol and Remington 870, 12gauge Semi-automatic shotgun to RAB. I also came to know that US officials has directly helped and trained the RAB officials in US and in Bangladesh to setup a specialized center for data mining and Telephone Interception. The same kind of help was given to DGFI by the US government. It is very alarming that both agencies are using these technologies in trapping innocent people, committed political activists, human rights defenders and journalists.

Enforced disappearance has become a matter of everyday life in Bangladesh. Mr. M Ilias Ali, a former Member of Parliament and Organising Secretary of the main opposition political party – Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and the driver of his car named Mr. Ansar, have been found missing since both of them left the former’s residence by a private car at around 9:30pm on 17 April 2012.

I have information from sources that a specialized team of Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) has abducted Mr. Ali and his driver. Disappearance of Ilias Ali and Ansar is an isolated one. Mr. Chowdhury Alam, a Dhaka City Corporation Commissioner was also abducted by the same specialized unit of DGFI. It is a naked truth that the law-enforcement agencies and security forces enjoy blatant impunity for creating extreme form of fear in the society through coercive actions. And very sadly the specialized unit of DGFI who are involved in disappearance of Ilias Ali and others remain unknown to the media and people and enjoy a complete impunity.

In Bangladesh very sadly the judicial institutions are poorly structured in terms of their intellectual and moral capacities. As a result the judiciary remains silent of the issues of disappearances and others forms organized crime committed by the law enforcement agencies like RAB and special unit of DGFI.

The religious minorities in Bangladesh has targeted by the fundamentalist and politically motivated terrors. In all the cases the law enforcement agencies remain silent and helped to fuel up the situations against the religious minorities.

Please stop supporting the law enforcement agencies with any kind of technical or non technical support until they stop the war against people.

The State Department should press the government of Bangladesh to address these concerns in a serious and time-bound manner and consistently raise these matters in discussions with the Bangladesh government in the coming days.

I thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely

William Nicholas Gomes
Human rights Ambassador for Salem News.com
http://www.williamgomes.org/?p=812

cc:
1.William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary of State
2. Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs
3.Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

______________________________

Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.

He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.





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