Mahmudur Rahman Awarded the title "Banglar Singhamanob" by Canadian Human Rights Group

>> Friday, June 18, 2010

Abid Bahar, Canada

The Save BD International, an international human rights organigation based in Canada in its yearly meeting reviewed the contemporary political events in Bangladesh and in particular the recent arrest of Mahmudur Rahman who is the editor of the popular daily Amerdesh. Rahman is widely known as an independent-minded Bangladeshi Bengali leader. His struggle has been against Indian hegemony and Indian imperialist ambitions against the Bengali people of the region. For his bold stand and struggle against the puppet regime in Dhaka led to his arrest. The Save BD International for Rahman's show of courage awarded him with the title, "Banglar Singhamanob."

In the meeting Mahmudur Rahman was noted as a fierce critic of Sheikh Hasina's government and its Chatro League and Jubo League's godfather type politics of tender grabbing, rape of women in dorms, and their attack on the opposition leaders. Rahman and his newspaper are also critical of the general deterioration of the law and order situation in Bangladesh. The daily is critical of Hasina government's concessions in giving transit to India without a national referendum and critical of the Indian dams on international rivers causing environment disasters in Bangladesh and in the region. For Rahman's firebrand speeches at home and abroad drawing large crowds of people, the daily Amerdesh was banned and Mahmudur rahman was taken to remand. The latest report shows that while in custody he was severely tortured by the special political unit of the Mohajot secret police.

"According to Mr. Rahman’s version, in a dark room, being blindfolded, he was attacked by some police personnel or other individuals at around 1-30 am who unclothed him, started beating mercilessly. They did not quiz him in respect of the case for which remand was granted. Due to serious torture he became unconscious within half an hour."

Newsreport shows previously Mahmudur Rahman was repeatedly attacked in Dhaka and in London allegedly by the Awami League goons but he survived the attacks. The Awami League members in different districts of Bangladesh also simultaneously sued him but the court released him. This time Hasina government arrested him on a flimsy ground, took him to remand and tortures him. The Save BD international condems the arrest and torture of an editor of a popular daily and closing the newspaper as underming the freedom of speech. It recognizes this as a new form of barbaric oppression in the history of Bangladesh. Despite protests by 25 editors of Bangladeshi newspapers, Rahman still remains in custody. His arrest has been condemned by international agencies all around the globe fighting against oppressive regimes. In addition to the Amerdesh newspaper, during Hasina's over just a year term in office the opposition news media Jamuna TV, Channel 1 were closed and a dozen of opposition newspaper journalists were being either attacked or killed.

Awami League Party originally founded by Maulana Bhasani once led a progressive movement which culminated into the independence of Bangladesh is now led by Hasina who shows intolerance to the opposition, some political analysts even termed her as if a fascist leader. While in opposition she was allegedly involved in the death of innocent victims of the Sharaton Hotel bus event, and her involvement at the Baitul Mokarrum Logi Boitha attack on her political opponents causing several deaths.

Discussants at the Save BD meeting termed Hasina's Mohajote government behavior as if a continuation of the BKSAL one Party rule in 1974, the latter's repressive measures led to the death of upto 30,000 of the opposition members in extra judicial killings. In 1974-75 Maulana Bhasani led the opposition movement against Indian hegemony and the BKSAL dictatorship but now Mahmudur Rahman the brave son of Bangladesh is fighting again against Indian hegemony and for the freedom of expression and democratic development in Bangladesh. The Save BD International is proud to award the title "Banglar Singhamonab" to this great charismatic personality of our time that Bangladesh produced. For his continued determination and courage to fight against the present fascist regime in Bangladesh we now would like to call him with the title "Banglar Singhamanob Mahmudur Rahman."

Save BD's International committee also demands the government of Hasina to take immediate steps to unconditionally release the great leader from jail. If the regime fails to comply with the demands, the Save BD international has decided to work with the international community of journalists and human rights activists to take the issue to the International Court of justice. If successful among other things the Court might ban Hasina's travel abroad.

Abid Bahar, Ph.D.
On behalf of the
Save BD International
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