FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bangladesh: Adil, the man I know

You said to me
I can bear anything”
with stubborn eyes you faced the sun
until blindness became a ball of flame
and the flame turned the sea to salt.  – Lu Xiaobo : Ne enemies , No Hatred

It was few days ago that they came and dragged him to their vehicle and took him to a secret location for interrogation before producing him before the court at their convenience. Eventually, due to the increasing pressure from the outside that the government faced, they had to produce him before the court and he is now in prison. What wrong has this man done? Who did he anger with his work? Who wanted him to stop his thirst for the liberty of victims in the country? Who needs to eliminate this “troubleshooter”? According to the local media it was another illegal arrest based on fabricated charges and arbitrary detention, which is very common in many countries.

Adilur Rahman Khan is the secretary of the Odhikar which is one of the major local rights groups in Dhaka documenting human rights violations. He was arrested by the security forces in Bangladesh on Saturday (August 10). News immediately spread across the world and many urged for his release. However, the government is in a hurry to prove the guilt of the subject they have targeted.

DSC_1242

Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan is in a prison van on August 13th, 2013.

I met Adil last year and we had a lengthy discussion on Bangladesh. Adil described the situation point by point from the war of Liberation in 1971 to the present nation slowly perishing in a sea of corruption and extremism, called Bangladesh. Adil is a charismatic activist, and outspoken man who loves to talk and express his honest opinion on the situation.  He knows how to articulate the debate into the stage where people can think and learn. Unfortunately, his provocative comments created more unknown adversaries than friends. So I was not surprised to hear about his arrest by the Dhaka authorities, though it makes me feel sad and angry about the present crummy political system in Bangladesh, which remains in power by spreading social fear among the communities.

The crisis in Bangladesh is deep, and the level of destruction of the state’s institutions is unimaginable. Many have talked about the liberation from Pakistan, but in reality there was never any real liberation of the people in this country. Personal liberty is a day dream, and politics happens behind closed doors and is used only for to plunder the public assets. The ordinary person has been shut out with no role to play except participating in a ritualistic election once in five years that is termed as ‘democracy’ which enables the ‘winners’ to go crazy.  Corruption is a daily event that everyone experiences in every layer of society. A couple of years ago, one of the senior professors in law who teaches in one of the major universities in Dhaka, said, “who can have hope for the justice when people are living in the context where justice is being sold at the cheapest price”. This is precisely the reason why Adil is behind bars today.

It was just last year when Adil, attending a meeting on the prevention of torture, presented chilling arguments about the society at large. “In the 10 years since 9/11, Asian countries have enacted many national security acts and emergency laws. In 1974, Bangladesh did the same. Torture is legitimized by law! Therefore we cannot only talk about rule of law. The 1982 Citizenship Act made the Rohingya non-citizens of Myanmar, although these people have been living there 500-700 years. The Rohingyas continued statelessness points to the failure of ASEAN to address the issue. At the same time, Bangladesh has failed to shelter the fleeing Rohingya. There was a budding human rights movement in the 1970s and 90s, but this was crushed by the 9/11 incident. We need to discuss how to revive these organic movements, 2013 will mark 20 years of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. What can Asian states claim to have done since then?”, (source – Ethic In Actions ( Vol. 07. No. 03 – Page 72)) Adil observed.

He went into the detail and he tried to visualize the psyche opt in the society in which many people become victims. “What also struck me yesterday was the dehumanizing aspect of torture. When you wish to cheapen the life and liberties of someone, you have to paint him as a traitor, a dog- then your methods suddenly become a lot more justifiable or acceptable. Then, in abusing him, you psychologically begin believing in the same lie you sold to the rest of the community- that he is a dog and not your equal in dignity and worth and not possessed of the same rights. (source – ibid)”

There is no doubt that Adil should be a free man, he must continue to do what he deserves to do, and he should continue with his great role in the nation that has already lost millions of lives for nothing other than protecting the highly corrupted political elite.

However, the long struggle of Adil’s release has just started, and Adil is not the first victim of this barbarianism, nor will he be the last. The scenario will be repeated. Tomorrow you might be the victim of this cynical political manipulation of truth and freedom. Unfortunately, if this scenario continues, there will more bloodshed before the society at large to understand and act with unity for dignity and liberty of the human beings in Bangladesh.

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is journalist and editor of the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily news paper based in Colombo Sri Lanka. He can be reached atilangamuwa@gmail.com or editor@srilankaguardian.org

More articles by:

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is Editor of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives. He also edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper. He is the author of the recently released non-fiction books, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), published in Sinhalese, and “The Conflation”, published in English. 

July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
Christopher Brauchli
The Defenestration of Scott Pruitt
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail