An appeal to Bangladesh caretaker government for prosecuting the killers of Cholesh Richil, a minority community leader

Mukto-Mona Advisory Board

Published on May 13, 2007

(Note: We would like to draw attention of our readers and members to the following incident of human rights violation by the law enforcement agents of Bangladesh government. We request readers to write to the editors of national dailies in Bangladesh and to the care taker government to take necessary steps in order to avoid repetition of such incident. Care taker government's e-mail ID is info@pmo.gov.bd)

Choles Richil--a voice of the indigenous people silenced.

We, the Mukto-mona (www.mukto-mona.com) board of directors and moderators, appeal to the chief of caretaker government of Bangladesh to investigate immediately the death of Cholesh Richil, a Garo Hill community leader, who was arrested by the governmentís law and order department. Mr. Richil died in custody on March 18, 2007 following brutal torture. We believe that Mr. Richilís civil rights were grossly violated by governmentís agent. It puzzles us why the government has not yet made proper investigation to unearth the mystery behind the tribal leaderís death. The perpetrators of this crime should not receive impunity.

Other renowned civil rights group such as Amnesty International (AI) has also expressed grave concern over alleged killing of the minority community leader. We affirm our solidarity with AI while reiterating the demand for a thorough investigation and bringing the culprits to book without further delay.

Ever since Bangladesh is governed by the second interim government under emergency rule after January 11, 2007, the spate of torture and killing by police, RAB, and the military is on the rise. This is an alarming development, which if left unchecked may result in more death under custody. No one should be immune from law. To this end we demand an inquiry by an independent committee. If the government fails to unearth the mystery behind Cholesh Richilís untimely death, Bangladesh would receive a negative rating from international bodies vis-ŗ-vis human rights violation. Let us not transform Bangladesh into a police state.