H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
NY 10027, USA
Sir, 8 March 2013
Ref. : Bangladesh
The Voice for Justice World Forum is an advocacy group which promotes human rights and justice for all. Our membership consists of a diverse group of professionals, living in Asia, Europe and North America, who are deeply concerned about human rights violations, the failure of justice and the possibility of a bloodbath in Bangladesh.
The last four years of unilateral rule, squabbles, rabid corruption, nepotism, politicization of the government machinery and the formation of the International War Crimes Tribunal under dubious and questionable motives, the impromptu Shahbag protests calling for death sentences for the accused, the intimidation of the judiciary, and finally, the overturning of the initial verdicts, country-wide strife and mayhem have brought Bangladesh to the brink of a civil war.
We have grave doubts and skepticism about the process and agenda behind these trials. There have been numerous reports of police brutality and people are living in fear. The present conflict resulting in violent deaths of more than a hundred people including women and children within the span of only a few days, a tragedy of this magnitude hardly been encountered anywhere in the world during recent history.
We urgently request your intervention to bring an end to the bloodshed tearing Bangladesh apart. The leaders have failed to put the interest of the country above party politics and self-interest. They have been unable to seek a new path for peace and protection of the citizenry, which puts Bangladesh at risk of becoming a failed state. Hence the need for your timely intervention.
We request you to use your office to invite all political parties to begin a dialogue and reach a compromise for an effective 'National Government' that puts the interest of the people above partisan politics.
We suggest the following options:
1. Create a 'National Government' with representation from all parties to hold free and fair elections, with international monitoring, in 12-24 months' time. This government could be headed by a non-partisan individual who is credible in the community with advisory input from ordinary citizens and experts in governance issues.
2. Restore law and order, with a temporary embargo on all street protests, strikes and obstruction to the smooth running of the interim government.
3. Ensure separation of the judiciary from other branches of government and place the police force under civilian oversight with clear lines of accountability.
4. Amend and reinstate secular values in the constitution as originally proposed ensuring freedom of language and religion for all with distinct status for indigenous peoples.
5. Put in place a process to re-integrate into Bangladeshi society people who have been living in camps for several decades and ensure the protection of human rights for all.
6. The human rights commission should have expanded powers and resources to monitor this transition.
Thanking you and with best regards.
Yours very sincerely,
On behalf of Voice For Justice World Forum
1. Dr. Hasanat Husain MBE, Convener, Voice for Justice World Forum
2. Dr. Hasan Zillur Rahim , Convenor, Voice For Justice, San Hose, USA
3. Dr. Shamsul Islam Choudhury, Convenor Voice For Justice, Chicago, USA
4. Syed Tareq Ahmed, VFJ Dhaka, Bangladesh
5. Ms. Shaheen Ali, VFJ Toronto, Canada
6. Mr. Ezajur Rahman, Convenor, Voice For Justice, Kuwait
7. Mr. Enam Choudhury, Voice for Justice, Stockholm, Sweden
8. Mr. Sadiqur Rahman, Voice For Justice, London, UK
9. Dr. Taj Hashmi, VFJ Convenor, Tennessee, USA
10. Mr. Gulzar Ahmed, Voice For Justice, Vienna, Austria
11. Syed Mahmud Husain, Voice For Justice, Singapore
12. Dr. Abdur Rahman, Voice for Justice, Limerick, Ireland
13. Mr. Abdul Latif JP, Convenor Voice For Justice, Birmingham, UK
14. Dr. Zakia Rahman, Voice For Justice, Ireland
15. Dr. Jasmine Tickle, Voice For Justice, Cambridge, UK