Fifty-seven international and national human rights and development organization and individuals concern over the recent terrorist attack on Bangladeshi human rights activist lawyer Mr. Shahanur Islam.
In a statement issued on 1st September 2020, they ask for ensuring the protection of Mr. Shahanur Islam including his all family members as well as ensure the exemplary punishment of Md. Jahurul Islam, his son Jobayer Hossain and other culprits, who were involved with the heinous crime. The statement is issued by the Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Paris Bar (Barreau de Paris), France, Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network, Soth Africa, South Asian Network for Refugees IDPs & Migrants (SANRIM), Srilanka , Twin Cities Nonviolent, USA, International CURE, Washington, DC, USA, Rights First International, UK, Free Trade Union Centre of Srilanka, Human Rights Alliance Bangladesh (HRAB), Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development (BCHRD), Manab Unnayan Kendra (MUk), Meherpur, Bangladesh, Human Rights Development Project (HRDP), Kulna, Bangladesh, Plain Welfare Truth Foundation, Naogaon, Bangladesh, Law for Nation, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Nice Foundation, Khulna, Bangladesh, Amader Ain, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), JusticeMakers Bangladesh , Lawyers for Lawyers Bangladesh and others prominent international and national human rights and development expert and lawyers.
They condemn the terrorist attack on human rights lawyer Mr. Shahanur Islam in Bangladesh and call for exemplary punishment against the culprit after a quick and impartial investigation. The statement mentions that Mr. Shahanur Islam, a human rights activist and lawyer in Bangladesh was attacked by a group of politically-motivated terrorists at the court premises of Naogaon district in Bangladesh on 26th of August 2020.
As soon as Mr. Islam had left from the court room after taking part in the hearing against Member of District Parishad, Naogaon and reached the veranda, suddenly 10 to 12 terrorists, led by Jobayer Hossain, son of Jahurul Islam, attacked Mr. Islam for killing or abduction. Jobayer Hossain hit the head of Mr. Islam resulting in a serious injury under his left eye and the frontal side of his head. The others repeatedly beat Mr. Islam all over his body. Some of the lawyers and lawyers’ clerks in the vicinity arrived at the scene and rescued Mr. Islam from the terrorists. Observing the matter, the learned Judicial Magistrate Mr. Sohel Rana asked the court police to detain the terrorists. Therefore, the court police detained one terrorist, Jobayer Hossain, and sent him to jail custody.
The statement also highlighted that Mr. Islam has previously received threats, death threats, physically assaults as well as been repeatedly implicated in false and fabricated cases due to his strong advocacy against social injustice and religious extremism as well as ensuring human rights, the rule of law, good governance and social justice. Furthermore, the statement emphasized that the attack on Mr. Shahanur Islam is not an isolated incident in Bangladesh, rather killings, harassment, intimidation and physical attacks against lawyers are common phenomena in Bangladesh.
The rights group call for exemplary punishment of the culprit after a quick and impartial investigation by the committee headed by a justice of the High Court division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. They also call upon the Bangladeshi authorities to ensure the physical, psychological and financial integrity of Mr. Shahanur Islam and his family members. Furthermore, they urge the Bangladesh Government to immediately suspend Md. Jahurul Islam from membership of district parishad, Naogaon according to district parishad law 2000 under section 10(ka). Moreover, the group urge the government of Bangladesh to ensure the effective protection of all lawyers from all kinds of violence, harassment, threats and other forms of violence in Bangladesh in the exercise of their professional duties.