The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances, calls on the government of Bangladesh to drop the charges against Odhikar officials and stop its attacks against the organization as well as the civil and political rights of its citizens.
Odhikar Director, Mr. ASM Nasiruddin Elan and Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary, were both charged of violating Sections 57 (1) and (2) of the Information and Communication Technology Act of 2006 (amended in 2013 immediately after the arrest of Adilur) for allegedly distorting facts in its documentation report of the violence committed by the authorities against a protest activity of Hefazat-e-Islam in May 2013. The government without substantiating denied the report of Odhikar and in retaliation escalated its attacks against Odhikar by arresting its office bearers, raiding its office and confiscating office files and computers. Further, the NGO Affairs Bureau under the office of the Prime Minister also blocked the release of Odhikar funds.
Seoul, South Korea - The AFAD Secretary-General, Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso called on the South Korean government to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance in a conference held in Seoul, South Korea, entitled: International Conference on Enforced Disappearances, Solidarity, Strategies and Solutions.
The conference was opened with a moving video on the Korean Air flight YS-11, when the plane was hijacked by North Korean agents in 1969. 11 victims are still remaining in North Korea. In total, more than 500 cases of enforced disappearances against South Korean citizens have been committed by the North Korean Government.
Sixty-five years ago, 48 member countries of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), recognizing “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
The UDHR inspired many human rights activists and defenders around the world to fight for their human rights. One of such great legends was the revered Nelson Mandela, whose recent death brought back memories of his anti-apartheid struggle and his 27 years of imprisonment. His and the struggles of many women, men, girls and boys who were or have been human rights defenders before us further defined and sharpened the various aspects of human rights resulting in the crafting of specific human rights treaties and declarations.