• Indigenous peoples in Bangladesh

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    Bangladesh is home to more than 54 indigenous peoples speaking more than 35 languages. Bangladesh has not adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the economic and political rights of the country's indigenous peoples remain ignored.
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  • The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission Condemns Targeted Killings of Jumma Activists and Calls for Urgent Government Action

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission Condemns Targeted Killings of Jumma Activists and Calls for Urgent Government Action

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) expresses deep shock at the tragic news of the killing of four Jumma activists reportedly by vigilante groups with alleged support from security forces.

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) expresses deep shock at the tragic news of the killing of four Jumma activists reportedly by vigilante groups with alleged support from security forces.On December 11, 2023, at approximately 10 pm, four Jumma activists were gunned down by an armed vigilante group in Anilpara of Logang Union, under Panchari Upazila of Khagrachari district. The victims have been identified as Bipul Chakma (32), former president of Pahari Chatra Parishad (PCP); Sunil Bikash Tripura (28), PCP vice president; Liton Chakma (29), vice president of Gonotantrik Jubo Forum Khagrachari, and Rohin Bikash Tripura (49), member of The United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF).1

Angya Marma, the district organizer of UPDF, has also accused the armed vigilante group for the kidnapping of three other political activists—Niti Dutta Chakma, Harikamal Tripura, and Prakash Tripura2. The deceased and kidnapped activists were scheduled to organize a youth conference in the area and were staying at a local person's house at Anilpara when the armed group attacked.3 UPDF, the Bangladesh Students’ Union, Socialist Students' Front, and Humanity Protection Forum Agartala, in separate press statements further allege that the vigilante group carried out the murder under the patronization of the military.

The CHTC is deeply concerned about the recurring allegations of security forces patronizing and supporting armed vigilante groups to target-kill political activists. Such allegations of gross human rights violations occurring with the support of security forces, whose role is to protect the people, are deeply troubling. The Commission has previously expressed concerns in its recent statements about such issues. In the latest occurrence, the Commission also observed that local journalists promptly reached the scene the following morning, broadcasting live footage of the deceased bodies and conducting interviews with residents. Strikingly, it took 19 hours4 for the security forces to arrive, whereas they are the ones expected to arrive first.

The Commission strongly condemns the repeated targeted killings of activists by vigilante groups. It believes that the killing of these young activists is a method to terrorize and intimidate the Jumma community, as well as an attempt to suppress the emerging Jumma leadership—a trend that has been persisting for years without any perpetrators being brought to justice. The Commission urges the government to address this alarming trend, bring the perpetrators to justice, and thoroughly investigate the allegations of security forces patronizing these armed vigilante groups.

On behalf of the CHT Commission,

chtc signatures dec 2023

 

1 https://www.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/district/tpe3vf06ad

2 https://bangladesh.postsen.com/trends/333248

3 https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/wpszejdifb

4 https://www.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/district/b05gxe5i4n

 

 

>> Read the statement in full here

 

Tags: Human rights, Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders

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