Enforced Disappearance in Bangladesh
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a virtual briefing on enforced disappearances in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh security forces, particularly the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have been linked to nearly 600 cases of enforced disappearances, illegal under international law, since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned to power in 2009. While some victims are released or taken to court after weeks or months of secret detention, others become victims of extrajudicial killings and scores are still missing.
A new report by Human Rights Watch documents 86 cases in which victims are still missing and demonstrates a persistent refusal by Bangladeshi authorities to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable. The government has repeatedly ignored calls by donor governments, the United Nations, human rights organizations and civil society to address the culture of impunity or to disband the notorious RAB. Instead, members of security forces who are accused of human rights violations appear to be rewarded with promotions and medals while victims’ families endure years of trauma.
Coinciding with the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, human rights advocates and researchers will discuss how Congress and the U.S. government can contribute to ending enforced disappearances and other grave human rights violations committed by security forces in Bangladesh.
This virtual briefing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. To attend, please register here. For questions, please contact Svetlana Shkolnikova (for Co-Chair McGovern) or Piero Tozzi (for Co-Chair Smith). For help with registration or technical support, please contact Matt McLaughlin of the TLHRC staff.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
- Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director, Human Rights Watch
- Shahidul Alam, photojournalist
- Sanjida Islam, sister of disappeared opposition political leader Sajedul Islam Sumon and founder of Maayer Daak
- Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman, Liaison Officer, Asia Human Rights Commission
- Angelita Baeyens, Vice President of International Advocacy and Litigation, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
- Bruce Vaughn, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service
- Dewan A. Ashraf, Minister of the Embassy of Bangladesh, "Letter to Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission," August 30, 2021
- Human Rights Watch, "'Where No Sun Can Enter' A Decade of Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh," August 16, 2021
- Amnesty International, "Letter to Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission," August 30, 2021
- OHCHR, "Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urging review of Digital Security Act following death in custody of writer," March 1, 2021
- UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, "Concluding observations on the initial report of Bangladesh," August 26, 2019
- U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, "Letter Calling for Sanctions on Bangladesh Battalion for Extrajudicial Killings, Enforced Disappearanes, Torture," October 27, 2020
- World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Odhikar, "Cycle Of Fear: Combating Impunity for Torture and Strengthening the Rule of Law in Bangladesh," July 2019