In May last year I blogged about news I heard then that Bangladeshi writer and blogger Tasneem Khalil had been arrested by the military police. The story was picked up across other news media once Human Rights Watch also issued a statement and bloggers across the world, especially Drishtipat, Mash and Global Voices started sounding the alarm. Even after he was released, around 24 hours later, Tasneem went into hiding.
Then last week I got this email:
This has been a long overdue. But before writing to you I talked to myself at a length and decided that the first thing I need to do is to tell the world what exactly happened to me on May 11, 2007. For me it was not a easy battle. Given my weak and feeble character I had to fight first with myself and come in terms with the truth, with the sheer ugliness of what I was forced to go through. Add to that the fact that fleeing a country with a six-month old son is a disastrous business. So, I hope that you will forgive me for not writing this mail earlier. That night I have seen how inhuman people can be, how they have developed a science of killing one’s soul.
I could have easily lost my faith on humanity if you did not stand by me and my family at those darkest hours of my life. No language can describe what that support means to me. The difference between my dead body and my freedom was drawn with the love and support I received from you. To all the editors, writers, commenters and visitors of Drishtipat, Somewhere in Blog, Pickled Politics, Butterflies and Wheels, other blog networks and individual bloggers who campaigned for my release from DGFI custody: I remember and I will remember, for ever.
The report is online at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2008/bangladesh0208
Tasneem had to seek asylum in Sweden with his newly married wife because Bangladesh still remains unstable. This story of torture has only just come out and was also been mentioned in the Guardian and CNN. Thankfully, this story has ended well. Bangladesh however still remains under military rule. Mash continues to cover the situation there (though he’s been a bit obsessed with Barack Obama lately, like us all).
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Filed in: Bangladesh,Current affairs,South Asia