Human Rights | The Daily Star
  • Subarnachar rape: What NHRC said happened and what really happened

    On the night of December 31, a day after the election, a mother of four was gang-raped in Subarnachar upazila of Noakhali. The rape is widely being acknowledged as election violence.

  • Only authoritarians love refugees

    In a breathtakingly racist speech, he warned that Europe could turn “black”and have its culture and civilisation overwhelmed by the “barbarian invasions” of migrants from across the Mediterranean.

  • When teenagers are sent to adult jails

    Hridoy Gazi is an inmate at Kashimpur Prison in Gazipur. He is also an eighth-grader according to his family, and a 13-year-old according to his birth certificate.

  • When digital rights become a human right

    Private university student Sumon (not his real name) had already gone to bed when the police came to his bachelor pad, last month. The cops were on a “block raid”—a security exercise that Dhaka Metropolitan Police executed over several areas in the city in the aftermath of the Safe Roads movement waged by student protestors.

  • Held captive in one's own mind

    The last two years have witnessed thousands of Bangladeshi female workers, who were tortured, abused or cheated, return home from the Middle East with painful memories.

  • A day in the police station

    “Did you see my son Sadman? Please take a look at this photo. Did you see him being taken to the police station? Is he in this police station?” A woman, in her early fifties, was desperately appealing to the sentries stationed at the gate of Shahbagh police station at 1pm on August 6, 2018.

  • Trump is now targeting families

    Deportation of undocumented Bangladeshis from the USA is nothing new. In the last 10 years, the country issued deportation orders for 7,364 Bangladeshis. The period during Bill Clinton's presidency particularly saw over a thousand Bangladeshis being marked for deportation each year.

  • Jailed and forgotten

    Forty-year-old Azaher Ali is in a fix and isn't sure how he should react. He has just met his daughter and his grand-daughter for the first time in years. His daughter was just 11 months old, the last time he held her. Today, she's almost 20 and has a child of her own.

  • 7 human rights recommendations

    In mid-May, the Human Rights Council, a United Nations body, met with all member nations to discuss their human rights situation, and Bangladesh was one of them. The process is known as Universal Periodic Review. Bangladesh was given recommendations by other states on how to improve the human rights scenario. We accepted quite a few—167 to be exact. We also said that we are going to think about supporting 2

  • What does it mean to celebrate International Women's Day in Bangladesh where violence against Jumma women is normalised?

    I am not going to parse my words over this one. Bangladesh has practically decriminalised the rape of Jumma women. By “decriminalisation”, I do not mean it from a legal perspective but rather that, by creating an environment of impunity for criminals, the state has made it politically and socially acceptable for anyone to rape Jumma women and not face any consequences for it. This decriminalisation, I argue, is part of a larger political strategy of dispossession of the Jumma people from their land.

  • When There Is No Warrant

    On the afternoon of December 29, 2017, Nurnabi Sarkar, a senior reporter from Jamuna Television was having tea at a stall near the capital's Technical bus stop in Mirpur. Sarkar was waiting for his aunt, who was due to arrive from Sirajganj. All of a sudden, two police constables came to him and said that their senior official was asking for him.

  • What is happening in Rangamati?

    A lot has had happened since word spread that one Marma girl was allegedly raped, and another molested, by members of security forces last month. The claims led to a confusing chain of events involving state forces and rights activists which rapidly escalated the crisis. On one hand, a court ordered the girls to be handed over to the custody of their parents, against their wishes. On the other hand, the queen

  • Rape of Marma sisters

    On January 22, two teenage sisters of a Marma family were allegedly raped and sexually assaulted by security forces in Orachhari

  • The ones who never returned

    The end of 2017 witnessed the return of a number of individuals who had disappeared in the second half of the year. Most of the 15 individuals, who had been missing since August last year, either returned to their respective families in the last three months or were shown as arrested based on various cases.

  • Wounds yet to heal

    Thakurpara, an impoverished, tiny village of Rangpur district, houses around 50 extremely poor Hindu families, most of who make ends meet working as day labourers. Beside their lower socio-economic status, they are doubly

  • The benefits of oppression for the common man

    As a proud Bangladeshi of the 21st century, I embrace the role of the oppressed. I credit my therapist for this—“Look at the silver lining,” she says, “focus on the positives”. So I do.

  • “Punish him, punish him!”

    "I was so happy when I saw the madam of the house, I told her I'd do whatever she asked of me,” described Moyna. “She took me to a room and asked me if I wanted to shower after my long flight from Bangladesh.” Moyna said yes.

  • One year and counting…

    Dizen Tudu wasn't always a calculative person. There was a time when he could work in the field under the sweltering heat all day and still have enough energy left in him to play with his three boys at home in the evening.

  • How effective will the anti-discrimination law be?

    The right to equality and the principle of non-discrimination is recognised by the constitution of Bangladesh. While article 27 of the constitution states that the people of Bangladesh are equal in the eyes of the law, article 28 forbids any discrimination on the basis of race, caste, religion, sex or place of birth.

  • Leaving no one behind: “Hijra Lives in Bangladesh”

    "When I was a volunteer for UNYSAB, a bunch of us were distributing sandals to rickshaw pullers who didn't have any. A group of hijras came along and took the sandals away, but a little while later, they returned and apologised for having done so. Assuming we were NGO workers, they said: 'Rickshaw pullers have parents, children, siblings, a family. We have nobody. Can't you do something for us too?'”

  • Seizing the opportunity?

    Three years ago, a Bangladeshi woman, let's call her Nila, petitioned the High Court asking for protection of her fundamental right to equality. She had been living in a violent marriage. But as a Hindu in Bangladesh, she has no right to divorce, and no exit route from continuing abuse.

  • If Rohingyas were Hindu

    A story by Reuters citing an Indian government spokesperson says that India is in talks with Bangladesh and Myanmar to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, arguably one of the world's most persecuted ethnic groups.

  • The never ending cycle

    From January 2012 to June 2017, a total of 388 incidents of violence against domestic workers have taken place, and, of them, only 161 cases have been filed.

  • The deaths could have been prevented

    The boiler explosion in a garments factory in Gazipur last Monday once again highlighted the government's inability to monitor the 5000-odd authorised boilers across the country.

  • Destruction of shops at Rath Mela and the ever-shrinking space for minorities

    Last Saturday night, the 400-year-old Rath Mela in Dhamrai, a fair integral to the Hindu Rath Jatra Utsab and the biggest Rath Jatra festival of the country, was shut down by the police over what it called “security concerns”, the fair stalls forcibly dismantled, visibly destroyed, and their owners beaten up.

  • “We will be soldiers in a battlefield”

    In 2001 Hill Women's Federation published a compilation of Kalpana Chakma's diary entries, letters to her comrades, news articles about her abduction and fact-finding reports by groups about the circumstances around her disappearance.

  • Cyclone Mora batters Rohingya homes

    Flimsy huts and lack of early warning in the camps lead to considerable damage.

  • Guilty of what?

    With the court dismissing all the other complaints, the narcotics claim is the main battleground now. However, when the case is analysed, what comes up is that the law enforcers found only 45 yaba tablets. Twenty-eight men were sent to jail for it. Breaking down, it is 1.6 tablets per person only

  • Is this our city?

    In this city of 14.5 million people, at least 9.07 percent of its inhabitants have some form of physical disability, according to Household Income Expenditure Survey 2011 of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

  • Mirpur Camp in Numbers

    In a world post-Syria, 'refugee' has almost become a dirty word. It is no longer an individual seeking solace from a terrible monster or a family leaving everything they have known behind because a fire has come to consume them.