Category Archives: Human Rights

Who will take care of Mizan’s children?

Fariha Sarawat

Published in the Daily Star on 23 May 2009.

ON Thursday 14 May 2009, a grenade explosion critically injured a two-year old boy and a two-month old girl. Under ordinary circumstances, these children would have the sympathy and support of most. But these children have had no such luck. Their parents’ sins overshadow their plight as victims. Their father is “Boma Mizan”, the explosives expert of the banned Islamic militant group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), and their mother is his dutiful wife who in an effort to save her husband exploded a grenade, blowing up her right hand and injuring her children.

These children now lie helpless in their hospital beds, and a visit revealed their dismal condition with no adult supervision and minimum care.
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Things I Won’t Tell My Daughter

Tazreena Sajjad

Published in the Daily Star Forum, May 2009.

This piece critiques male entitlement and looks to a more equal future.

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Your Silence Will Not Protect You

Fariha Sarawat

Published in the Daily Star Forum, May 2009.

This piece refuses to quietly ‘deal with it’.

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Street defenders

Naeem Mohaiemen

Published in the Daily Star on 11 April, 2009.

…there was a particular way that Taslima ignited passions. She was unique and necessary, in that Bangladesh of that time. That earlier role has evolved today not into any central feminist icon, but rather many activists, many movements. Working quietly and loudly, with negotiation and confrontation. For the rights of women on the factory floor, corporate office, university classrooms, home sweet home, and of course, the streets.

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Time to rebuild trust

Rumi Ahmed

Published in the Daily Star on 25 March 2009.

One’s life is in the other’s hands. Photo: AFP

I teach applied lung physiology to over 200 first year medical students in the United States. Every year I start the class with a confession and an apology. My students pay $40,000 a year only as tuition. An overwhelming majority of these students finish medical school with an average loan of $200,000.

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‘We are poor, but are we not human?’

Asif Saleh and Rumi Ahmed

Published in the Daily Star on 24 March 2009.


Unattended and uncared for.

Every Saturday our prime minister speaks directly to the common people for a few hours and hears their grievances, and later asks the relevant ministry to take action on these matters.

Yesterday was one such day. I wasn’t there. But if I were, what would I tell the PM?

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Justice with due process

Asif Saleh and Jalal Alamgir

Published in the Daily Star on 9 Mar 2009.

NEVER did we think that we would be haunted with mass graves in independent Bangladesh. Never did we think that we would have to unearth mutilated, bayonet-torn dead bodies. And yet, today, we are assaulted once again by mass graves and the cold-blooded murder of our army officers, their families, and civilians.

We mourn our loss. We offer prayers in solidarity with the families and their loved ones. And in no uncertain terms, we want the killers responsible to be brought to justice.

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A zero kill year

February 5, 2009

NOW that an elected government is in power, we want to be assured that the most basic of our rights — the right to life — will be respected.

Too many lives are lost to political violence in Bangladesh every year. People die in brawls with bamboo sticks. Deadly ambushes on activists are common. Thugs armed with machetes and daggers sweep down on political foes routinely. Continue reading

Another wake-up call: Are we listening?

Mridul Chowdhury

Published in the Daily Star on 14 Dec 2008.

NURUL Islam is in the hospital fighting severe burn and Tamohar is no more” — a short email from a friend changed my day, perhaps even my life. I have watched unfortunate incidents happening in people’s lives many times on TV news and read about them on newspapers — but this was the first time it happened to someone I knew. I was dumbfounded, I was shocked, I was shaken to the core. Over the course of next few hours, frantic emails with updates and speculations of what happened started coming in, until the final news — “Nurul Islam, too, is no more.”

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Overcrowded prisons, and other emergency woes

Asif Saleh on Al Jazeera