Adilur Rahman Khan, 63, and Nasiruddin Elan, 57, have led the Odhikar organisation for many years
A Bangladesh courtroom on Thursday (14) sentenced two main human rights activists to 2 years every in jail, after a trial critics say is a part of a authorities crackdown forward of elections.
Adilur Rahman Khan, 63, and Nasiruddin Elan, 57, have led the Odhikar organisation for many years, working to doc 1000’s of alleged extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances of opposition activists, and police brutalities.
They “have been sentenced to 2 years in jail”, Decide Zulfiker Hayat instructed the courtroom.
The prison fees towards Khan and Elan associated to a fact-finding report they compiled 10 years in the past on extrajudicial killings.
“They have been sentenced to 2 years in jail for publishing and circulating false data, hurting spiritual sentiments and undermining the picture of the state,” stated prosecutor Nazrul Islam Shamim.
Each males have been within the courtroom in Dhaka for his or her sentencing, in addition to a number of international diplomats.
As police took them from the courtroom to Dhaka Central Jail, Khan was seen thrusting his clenched fist in defiance from the door of a safety van.
The pair’s legal professionals plan to enchantment.
A number of Western governments have expressed concern over the political local weather in Bangladesh forward of common elections due earlier than the top of January, the place the ruling get together dominates the legislature and runs it just about as a rubber stamp.
“This verdict will ship a chilling message to the human rights defenders within the nation and make their work enormously troublesome,” stated Nur Khan Liton, a former head of one other of the nation’s main human rights organisations.
Odhikar has been documenting human rights violations in Bangladesh since 1994. It has labored intently with UN our bodies and international human rights teams.
Earlier this month, the UN voiced alarm at what they stated was Bangladesh’s use of authorized proceedings to intimidate and harass rights advocates and civil society leaders.
Each males “have confronted harassment and intimidation”, UN rights workplace spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani stated final week.
Dhaka reacted angrily to the UN feedback, calling it a “flagrant disrespect” of their justice system.
Final 12 months, the federal government of prime minister Sheikh Hasina cancelled Odhikar’s working licence after accusing it of tarnishing Bangladesh’s picture, prompting a refrain of condemnation from rights advocates.
A bunch of 72 worldwide rights teams condemned the sentencing and demanded the boys be launched.
Alice Mogwe, head of the Worldwide Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), stated their conviction was based mostly on “politically motivated fees”, whereas Amnesty Worldwide slammed the federal government’s “relentless crackdown”.
“It isn’t those that denounce murders who must be punished, however those that commit them,” stated Gerald Staberock, head of the World Organisation In opposition to Torture (OMCT).