Enforced disappearance

Families demand whereabouts of victims

Families demand whereabouts of victims

Dhaka, Apr 21 (Just News): Family members of the victims of “enforced disappearances” today organised a mass hearing in Dhaka demanding whereabouts of the dear and near ones.

Some 80 families and the right activists from different parts of the country joined the ‘mass hearing’ under the banner of “Mayer Daak” (“Call of Mother”) at the National Press Club to press home their demands for getting back of their loved ones, dead or alive.

Organised by some of the victims’ families and supported by the rights defenders, the members of the victims’ families said that their dear ones became victims of enforced disappearances but the state denied them of due justice.

Rehana Banu Munni, one of the victims' family members, said her regular tasks is to verify unidentified dead bodies at morgues and other places to be sure whether the corpse is her younger brother Selim Reza Pintu.

Missing for around four and a half years, Pintu, then Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader of Sutrapur unit, was allegedly picked up by law enforcers in plainclothes from a relative’s house in the capital’s Pallabi area on the night of December 11, 2013. Since then, he remains missing.

All these years, the family members desperately were engaged in searching for him at every possible place across the country including morgue of different hospitals but could not know his whereabouts.

Addressing the programme, Dhaka University’s Prof CR Abrar said, “I don’t come here to express sympathy to you but for my own interest as I don’t want to see any of my beloved ones has fallen victim of enforced disappearance.”

Prof Abrar said number of the enforced disappearance incident is rising where students, political leaders even a former diplomat fell victim. “There is no guarantee of natural death at present.”

He said investigations of these incidents, which are the minimum demand of the families, are yet to be conducted by the concerned government bodies.

Mehedi Hasan, brother of slain Shahnur Alam who was allegedly tortured to death in Rab custody in Brahmanbaria in May 2014, said, “I don’t want justice anymore as we didn’t get it in last four years.”

“Now I just want to know why my brother was brutally killed. If I get the answer, I will think I have got enough justice,” said a frustrated Mehedi.

Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said the families of the victims of enforced disappearance even cannot pray for their near and dear ones as they are denied to know whether the victims are dead or alive.

Prof Asif Nazrul of DU Law department said enforced disappearance is a more gruesome crime than that of killing someone.

“When a man is killed, he is buried, inheritance is determined and the unbearable suffering ends at one point. But the long wait and concern of a family of a victim of enforced disappearance never end,” he said.

Blaming members of law enforcers for incidents of enforced disappearance, he said such crime should be stopped otherwise anyone will become victim anytime.

Ganosamhati Andolon chief coordinator Zonayed Saki said a strong movement has to be waged, as incidents of enforced disappearances took place because of a culture of impunity.

The state has failed to provide due security to its citizens, he said.