Bangladesh: CHTC condemns attack on its Coordinator in Bandarban
Dhaka, 27 August, 2014. The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) strongly condemns the brutal and cowardly attack upon Hana Shams Ahmed, Coordinator of the Commission, and her friend, a woman academic, during a private visit by them to Shoilopropat in Bandarban in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, by 8-10 members of the so-called Somo Odhikar Andolon.
The CHTC is deeply disturbed to learn that the attack took place when Hana and her friend were being followed by four members of the Detective Branch (DB) of police who were supposedly providing security to them.
We believe that this attack and the failure of the police to take immediate action to record and investigate the attack are in breach of their duties to ensure the rights of citizens of free movement and personal security. In our opinion, the attack was not only designed to intimidate Hana but also to send out a message to the Commission to prevent it from continuing its work to demand that the CHT Peace Accord is fully implemented.
The CHTC calls upon the Government to investigate the incident promptly and impartially and to arrest and bring the perpetrators to justice (one of whom, named Shomrat, has already been identified by an eyewitness). In particular, the Government must investigate the role of the four Detective Branch policemen who followed the victims, to learn why they followed them, and then failed to protect them when attacked, and to identify whether they acted in league with the attackers.
This is not the first occurrence of violence against human rights defenders in the Chittangong Hill Tracts, on 5 July three people including a member of Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission were injured as their vehicle came under an attack. Read more about the incident.
Tags: Press releases