Ask the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to cancel her trip to Bangladesh unless Bangladesh government guarantees to abide by human rights of its citizens and the democratic rights of its opposition by ending kidnappings and unfair trials of opposition leaders.


The US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will visit Bangladesh on May 5. She will be meeting the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition leader Khaleda Zia, and the Foreign Minister.


Call Hillary Clinton Today

It is important to call this whole week every day to the Secretary of State asking her to cancel her trip unless she is able to ensure a firm guarantee from the Bangladeshi government for the strict observation of human rights specially the following two points:

  • An independent and credible investigation into the torture, murder and disappearances of a growing number of opposition leaders, labor activists, student leaders and journalists by the Rapid Action Battalion.
  • A fair trial of former ministers from the opposition Nizami and Mujahid. They and other opposition leaders are being tried through tribunal, which is criticized by all human rights organizations.

Talking Points

The prime minister should allow opposition to work.

Human Rights Watch in a statement issued today said at least 22 people have disappeared in the last few months. Human Rights Watch says it has long documented abductions and killings by Bangladeshi security forces, especially the Rapid Action Battalion. The rights group said the government of Sheikh Hasina consistently dismisses or ignores evidence of abuses by the security forces. Human Rights Watch said this is why an independent investigation into all cases of disappearances is “urgently required.”

Here are some examples of recent torture, murders and disappearances:

  • Ilias Ali organizing Secretary of BNP, the main opposition party, was kidnapped on April 17. He is still missing.
  • Aminul Islam, a labor leader disappeared on April 4. His tortured body was found next day.
  • Two leading journalists, Sagar Sarwar and Meherun Runi, were stabbed to death on Feb. 11, 2012.
  • Several members of the student organization Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir went missing early this year.

The Evidence

Amnesty International says that in each case of disappearances plain-clothes security officers who wear similar clothing, including heavy-duty shoes and short hairs are involved.

Human Rights Watch has documented how the defense lawyers of the accused are being harassed and the defense witnesses are being themselves arrested in the so-called War Crime Tribunal. The current government threw in prison two ministers with zero corruption record, Nizami and Mujahid. They were the only ministers who worked with both Awami League and BNP for the sake of Bangladesh. They face death penalty through lynch trial which the human rights organizations have protested against.


Bangladesh is a progressive country. It is the second largest exporter of textile products in the world amounting to $18 billion dollars in 2011. All that is at risk at the hands of the ruthless regime, which is killing all voices, all opposition and media.

This government is the one who dismissed the icon of Bangladesh, the Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

We must act now to save Bangladesh from going backward.

Three Action Items:

1) Contact the Secretary of State:

  • 202-647-6575
  • Call Bangladesh Desk at the State Department: 202-647-9516 & 202-647-1450

Email Secretary of State through this page. In subject write Bangladesh Trip of the Secretary, or Cancel Bangladesh Trip, or Save Bangladesh Opposition:

2) Thank Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International for their statements. Ask them to ask Secretary of State to raise the issue of unfair trials of two former opposition ministers as well which has been previously criticized by both the organizations.

Human Rights Watch: 212-290-4700

Amnesty International: (212) 807-8400

3) Write to National Religious Campaign Against Torture or call them at 202-547-1920 to ask Secretary of State to ask Bangladesh government to safeguard opposition security; investigate police role in torture and kidnapping and ensure fair trails of former opposition ministers accused of war crimes.