Justice for Rizwan Hussain

by Sunny
24th April, 2008 at 8:47 am    

The story of Riwzan Hussain’s treatment by the Bangladeshi authorities has gotten East London’s Bengali bretheren very, very annoyed. The story hasn’t made the national papers yet but it is covered on this BBC London page. There’s a demonstration this Saturday according to the v popular Facebook group.

Statement by Rizwan Hussain

I travelled to Bangladesh on 11th April 2008 to visit my ailing father who is currently at Square Hospital suffering from final stages of Lung Disease.

On 14th April, I travelled to Dhaka to see off my sister, brother in law and baby nephew at Zia International Airport, she was due to fly back to the UK on BA145 at 08.00 hours. I entered the airport with his family through Door 23 having purchased a ticket for 500 taka. I accompanied my sister to the British Airways counter, assisted her to check in and then my sister proceeded on to the departure lounge.

I proceeded to leave the airport to return to my car in the car park, just as I was leaving I was approached by an elderly woman (from Loughborough) who informed me of some problems she was facing with her ticket with Emirates. It transpired that this lady was the mother in law of Abdul Mozid Taher (Organising Secretary of the Greater Sylhet Council). Mr. Taher also called at that point from UK and requested me to assist his mother in law and young sister at the airport. On this request, I spoke to the Emirates check-in counter and explained the ladies problem.

The emirates check in officer Jami asked me to wait a little while and he would get back to me if a solution can be found. I stayed a little while to help her. A few minutes later I was approached by security staff and asked how I got in. I explained that I had entered to see off my sister, brother in law, and child and presently was trying to help the elderly lady.

The security officer took me downstairs to an office known as the DSO’s office. At the DSO’s office, the DSO Iftekhar Jahan and two other officers interviewed me and insisted that I make a statement that I got in illegally and had entered with the intention of assisting illegal immigrants. I was unwilling to make a false statement. I was asked to identify myself, and I responded by stating that I was from England and by profession a Barrister. At that point, I was asked to produce proof of British citizenship my certificate of qualifications as a barrister to prove this.

The DSO then picked up the phone and made a call. A few minutes later one police officer was stationed at the door of the security office. At that point, I realised that I was not able to leave. He enquired with the DSO what was happening and he responded by saying that I would have to see a senior officer. A few minutes later five uniformed officers (navy trousers and light blue shirts) arrived and took me to the third floor. As soon as I was out of the view of the departure concourse, they started pushing and dragging me towards a room. The room was empty except three low chairs and a metal tall drum to the left. One officer remained outside to guard the door and four entered. The four that entered were Anwar, Saiful, Mizan and Delawar. The officer outside was Mujib.

In the room the four officers took out one metre long wooden battens about 3 inches in thickness and without any question started beating me. The beating continued for about 55 minutes. The assailants hit on the back, legs and arms. I was asked to stand facing a wall with my arms spread whilst they hit me on the back. After a while the beating stopped, I was then dragged to another room and told to stand in front of another officer sitting behind a desk. The officer enquired whether I signed a statement and then proceeded to instruct that I be taken back to the other room again for a statement.


I think these folk are looking for an apology from the BD government, but I don’t see the military doing that anytime soon…

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Filed in: Bangladesh,Current affairs,South Asia

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  1. Sid — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:02 am  

    I think these folk are looking for an apology from the BD government, but I don’t see the military doing that anytime soon…

    It does however place much needed international spotlight on the military government operating in BD today. Remember that this samegovernment has stalled the democratic process, jailed democratic political leaders, and reduced the basic rights of ordinary people (phone tapping, detetentions and of course torture).

    All of this with the tacit support of the British Government (David Miliband, hello!) and lots of glowing tributes about the joys of military rule and the offence of dissent by our vary own High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Mr Anwar Choudhury.

  2. sonia — on 24th April, 2008 at 4:13 pm  

    terrible simply terrible. just goes to show what a bunch of thugs.

    we should give the Ambassador a bit more of a difficult time – the man is in an awkward posish sure, but still!

  3. Shuhel — on 24th April, 2008 at 6:22 pm  

    “…the Bangladesh Human Rights Coalition are staging a demonstration in Aftab Ali Park, Whitechapel Road, London (Nearest Tube: Whitechapel) on Saturday the 26th of April 2008 at 5pm to apply further pressure on key individuals to act adequately to this matter.”

  4. Shamit — on 24th April, 2008 at 6:49 pm  

    If he holds dual nationality then our High Commissioner cannot do anything and neither can the Foreign Secretary. And if he does not, as soon as he was released his first call should have been to the British High Commission or gone there. I read the entire statement he made and I did not see him mention the British High Commission ever once.

    I am not condoning the behaviour of the security services in anyway. So don’t get me wrong. But in South Asia (lets face it this is not only a Bangladesh problem) the rule of law and the role of police and security services towards those who do not have political and monetary influence this is the norm. And, this is not unique to this particular government or Bangladesh alone.

    And while not funny, isn’t it true most times Army got the opportunity to step in Pakistan and Bangladesh was due to socio-economic paralysis brought on by politics of hooliganism, corruption and nepotism. Didn’t Bangladesh cheer when the Armed forces forced the President of Bangladesh to appoint this caretaker government?

    Also, over the past few months, both the British and American Governments are exerting pressure publicly and privately on the Caretaker Government and the Election Commission to hold elections asap.

    Finally, I believe the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has directed the Government to look into this and take appropriate actions against those who have committed this horrible act.

    What I find mostly amusing (there is nothing amusing in what happened to this gentleman) is how we Brits want our Government to step in another country’s affairs and when we do so then we immediately question the motives of our Government

    Sid, what would you like Mr. Miliband to do? Ask Douglas Alexander to cut off all aid? The British Government in this particular case of the entire Bangladesh political situation has acted quite appropriately. At least I think so.

  5. Ashik — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:12 pm  

    This type of incident is the precise reason Sylheti Bengalis campaigned for an airport in our region. This is the second attack on a Brit Sylheti at Dhaka airport. The other being the MURDER of Suroth Ali.

    It is time the Dhakaiya based Bangladesh government gave licences for DIRECT FLIGHTS to Sylhet from abroad. There are Sylheti private airlines out there like Royal Bengal airlines willing to provide a Sylheti-friendly service to their customer base.

    In my opinion ethnic Sylheti Bengali people are being targeted because of their achievments and wealth which some Dhakaiya are finding hard to swallow.

  6. Ashik — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:22 pm  

    Despite this abhorrant act by agents of the Bangladeshi govt, it must be noted that an investigation is under way and at least one person has been suspended from duties. Something is being done. The Sylheti Bengali community in Britain is right to demonstrate and ask for accountability from the Bangladeshi government.



  7. Heeheejabi — on 25th April, 2008 at 10:14 am  

    Finally, a blog where people are actually capable of having a sensible, well-informed discussion about actual facts, as opposed to the tiresome village politics on other sites!

    I’m fed up of listening to accounts of Rizwan’s past ‘bad’ life, of doubts about his professional status and whether he was right or wrong to enter a restricted area. What has any of it got to do with the issue at hand? The abuse of a persons human rights.

    He could be the biggest gangster since the Krays for all I care, doesn’t mean he deserved what happened.

    Perhaps this is why we as a people never seem to be quite ‘get there’. Because we spend so much time in-fighting about trivial things and forget the bigger picture.

    Think I’m ready to gouge my eyeballs out with the blunt end of a spoon, than listen to one more person and their ill-informed opinions on a matter bigger than just one man.

  8. Hussain — on 25th April, 2008 at 11:14 am  

    these bengaliz are really stupid and im reallly angry. i feel like taking my boiz down there beating the fuk out of those uniformed police.. dikhedz

  9. shaz — on 25th April, 2008 at 7:51 pm  

    first of all i would like to comdem my sympaty to rizwan and his family. as for this matter i think that the british goverment should get involved with this matter and i want the bangladesh government should make an formal arrest of the four mens and show it on the media ,so that we all know that there have the right mens,and we went bangladesh government to make an apologies in front of the media. atlest they owe rizwan that much.

  10. Ali — on 25th April, 2008 at 9:19 pm  

    We the British Bangladeshi’s do not feel safe traveling to Bangladesh, not because there is a chance you will be hijacked on the way to our village from the airport BUT from the airport security, the very people who are there to make us feel safe and secure.(What a shame).
    Because it was rezwan that’s why we got to hear about this incident,I wonder how many more innocent people these official thugs assulted.Looks like it was not an isolated incident.The shocking thing is it happend on an international airport.
    Unlike the normal Bangladeshi political partys(BNP/Awami league)I still have faith on this caretaker government to punish these individuels.We want to see a swift action taken against these thugs.If
    we do not see proper action being taken, then we should
    boycott travelling by Bangladesh Biman.

  11. ali — on 25th April, 2008 at 9:23 pm  

    what happen to hussain rizwan is not nice bangladesh government should kick them out of their jobs make them suffer for what they did if not punished they will lough at rizwan and do it again fix the corrupt government

  12. Sister Afrujahan — on 25th April, 2008 at 9:55 pm  

    what happend to brother rizwan hussain is absolutely disgusting and shameful especially in his birth country and by muslim men. I hope with all my heart that justice is served and inshallah justice will prevail. I pray that brother rizwan hussain recovers from this horrid attack physically, emotionally and spiritually. Brother Rizwan Hussain is a wonderful muslim person who has brought to attention the many awful things which are happening in the world to bangladeshi and muslim people and encouraging others to actually DO something to help them. May allah give brother rizwan hussain long life with good health, stronger faith and happiness.

  13. khadijah bibi — on 25th April, 2008 at 11:27 pm  

    Hiya I would just like to say I am English and have been to Bangladesh b4 with my husband. I loved the country. As I recently has a baby son I wanted to take him to Bangladesh to meet all his Aunties, uncles and cousins. But after hearing of this attack I do not want to go to Bangladesh again. This is not the first time that an incident like this has happened. Until Bangladeshi goverment sort these people out I know of alot of people who do not intend to return to Bangladesh now.

  14. Suratun Nessa — on 26th April, 2008 at 8:43 am  

    Assalamualaikim, many condolences to brother rizwan and his family. I am disgusted with the way innocent people are treated like this and we all should find a way to bring these incidents forward and highlight the inhuman acts of the so called security who are put in place to protect people. I urge anyone muslim and non-muslim to join in the justice for rizwan group and sign the petition

    Anyone saying that brother rizwan deserved this should take a reality check and grow up.

    Allah hafiz

  15. ramsey oldham — on 26th April, 2008 at 9:37 am  

    let me start off by this,no one is going to change anythng even to a atom.
    why? why should i explain myself.
    bangladesh has no systematic order intact, if it has a system, the country runs soley on allahs mercy alone, from day to day.i have been bangladesh.like the great game the great passage the great this and that. bangladesh is a graet chaos and a great dissapoint ment.this thing is like, bringing democracy to iraq or squeezing out water from a stone.allah knows best.
    rizwan brother has given time money and sweat for his country and other nation. working in media, the greatest decievers.barristers solicitors a the greatest miniplatures liers of words to win a case but the ultimate sacrifice he gave not (blood). allah took it not of brother rizwans will.
    why should i make remarks, truely and clearly i dont no him personaly, i only have seen him on tv on act doing what he does best, making a profile and raising thousands of pounds for his channel
    being on a pay roll, sorry he does everything voluantry.evenly old women and men can join a rally on the streets.justice out of bangladesh, squeeze harder at that stone my brothers cuase i aint helping you squeeze.the 5 people are innocent yet untill proven guilty in court, every man and women has a right to trial and have their say. so let us all be patient and judge not.even salman russdie deserves a trial although he will be found guilty.everyone has a say. so lets not rule out this and that.all this hype and media, people jumpin on the wagon of changing things.
    making statments that this has nothing to do with the goverment of bangladesh, these people are goverment officals it happened in a goverment building, these people are govement paid. what you trying to be good in the goverments eyes the airports eyes and others.
    in court the goverment will be representing them.
    words dont mean alot brother rizwan. the whole of bangladesh hits the spot light.let allah make you a means and bring good out of this.you have what you wanted a house hold name, furthering your cause for justice. forget it. you should have stayed a barrister
    why join the media. i cant go on i finish

  16. Shamsul Hoque — on 26th April, 2008 at 11:55 am  

    I am truly disgusted at the treatment suffered by Rizwan at the hands of Bangladeshi Government Officials.

    It will be fair to say that Bangladesh is an extremely corrupt and backward country probably on par with Zimbabwe. Until we eradicate the vermins from this country there will be no chance of progress and prosperity.

    However, we also need to look at ourselves, we go to Bangladesh,Flash our money like theres no tomorrow, and ecourage corruption by giving backhanders to get things done quickly.

    The ultimate problem is us, until we change ourselves how can we change the country!

    My prayers are with Rizwan and his family during these testing times and wish him a speedy recovery.

  17. Abul Kalam — on 26th April, 2008 at 12:23 pm  

    We should get justice from all that has happened with Rizwan.

    It is really disgusting the way they treat good honest people like Rizwan. I agree that Bangladesh is a really corrupt country, and the Government and Human Rights should not have let this happen and should find ways for stability.

    We should have justice, people are now losing their trust with Bangladesh. I mean God forbid if it ever happens to us, it scares me and my family if we were in Rizwan’s shoes.

    Our prayers are with Rizwan. Get well soon.

  18. Shireen Begum — on 26th April, 2008 at 12:31 pm  

    I heard what had happened with Rizwan, and it is very upsetting and my sympathy goes towards him.

    I have been to Bangladesh twice and would like to go again once I have got a degree and made a career. However looking at this incident, it scares me what if it happens to me.

    Bangladesh should take action and take full responsibility for this. Also no-one has the right to beat someone as brutally and in under circumstances. I mean what are the human rights for.

    I pray that Rizwan gets better and he as mine and my family’s support.

  19. IMRAN — on 27th April, 2008 at 1:54 am  

    Imran from Oldham, Manchester

    I would like to request all our Bengali Brothers & Sisters, please step ahead & put your voice up against this Crime & these Criminals. If we don’t seek & don’t get justice today, we will never get this in the future. 2 people has been murdered in the past & this time attempt to Kill Brother Rizwan. Next could be you or myself. I ask you today, can you let this happen?

  20. Amjad — on 29th April, 2008 at 11:11 am  

    I travel to Bangladesh regularly and I have had no problem with the Immigration authority. People travelling from UK to Bangladesh think that they can break the law once they arrive at Dhaka airport.
    We wouldn’t dare to enter a restricted area at LHR, so why do people enter a restricted are in Dhaka airport?? Once people are confronted by the immigration officer for these uncivilized behaviour, then they start saying I am a community leader, Doctor, barrister, lawyer from UK. What gives them the right to break laws just because they are from UK??

    Many Thanks
    Amjad Ali, London

  21. Maruf — on 29th April, 2008 at 4:19 pm  


  22. Kazi Mashud — on 29th April, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    What has happened to Rizwan it is extremely horific..there is no way we would find a justification. If he was a tresspasser or an illegal entrant in to a restricted are (there are hundreds of people get access through bribing airport staff at ZIA).. he could be arrested and passed on for trial. But being beaten up bodily is totally inhuman and degraded treatment from personals of Bangladeshi Air force.

    We do not want to see some ISPR coverage to hide the institutional anarchy in the BAF or other Force… we demand a thorough investigation into this atrocity and result must be the followings:

    An unconditional appology from Bangladesh Government.
    A full compansation for Rizwan.
    Justice procedures made public through media – so other people could learn lesson from it.
    Passangers and Visitors rules must be maintained at Departure and Arrival lounge at ZIA.

    If we can not ensure the above, we do not think that anyone would be safe at any Port in Bangladesh. As a result we would find more victims like Suroth Ali, Mugol Kureshi and tortured persons like Rizwan…

    Thanks to readers.

    Kazi Mashud
    Equality and Human Rights Activist.

  23. Rukshana — on 30th April, 2008 at 6:38 pm  

    Assalamu Alaikum, to my dear Brothers and sisters, of the British Bangladeshi community. I would just like to make this statement short and simple, a brother like Rizwan who deserves nothing but Allah’s rahmat and our blessings had been brutally and physically attacked for absolute no reason watsoever,having worked for the deen, and have seen his inspirational commitment towards the charity aid appeals and many more. I pray for his fast recovery,inshallah.Finally there has to be justice reserved in one way or another,i strongly believe that there has to be an apololgy made by the Bangadeshi high commisioner and a compensation for Brother Rizwan, having said this the Staffs who had put on this absolutely revolting attack on Brother Rizwan should be punished, without a doubt.

  24. Rahima — on 30th April, 2008 at 6:58 pm  

    Na dis aint happening like, i jus cnt blve dat dis has hppnd to sme siick person like Bruv Rizwan Hussain, yh i rate u 4 evrythng u hve dne hlpng da needyz yh i hpe dat smthn bad hppnz 2 dose hipacrits.
    Hpe dat he recoverz soon and wntd 2 say he’z ALL blessed by Allah.
    Ma Famoz Du’ah is wid u.

  25. Rahima — on 30th April, 2008 at 6:58 pm  

    Na dis aint happening like, i jus cnt blve dat dis has hppnd to sme siick person like Bruv Rizwan Hussain, yh i rate u 4 evrythng u hve dne hlpng da needyz yh i hpe dat smthn bad hppnz 2 dose hipacrits.
    Hpe dat he recoverz soon and wntd 2 say he’z ALL blessed by Allah.
    Ma Famoz Du’ah is wid u.

  26. Imamul — on 1st May, 2008 at 7:13 pm  

    We should all take this unfortunate incident as a golden opportunity to teach those Mafia, lawless, barbaric Dhaka airport officials a lesson. Please sign the petition on line and also attend the meetings and gatherings in support of Barrister Rizwan. Don’t let this opportunity pass by. It could be YOU and I next!

  27. Farhana — on 2nd May, 2008 at 6:52 pm  

    I am very disgusted at Bangladesh’s behaviour towards Rizwan.Even though i am form Bangladesh.And Rizwan should get JUSTICE.

  28. Rukshana Nessa — on 6th May, 2008 at 11:12 am  

    Assalamu Alaikum, I have already posted a comment earlier on in blog 23. In addition, I would like to address to the attention of the British High Commissioner, his excellency the British high commissioner that in relaton to the abhorrent incident of Brother Rizwan Hussain, I as a British Bangladeshi citizen (a Student) am simultaneously quarrled and feel at upmost apprehensive, I mean what are the human rights legislations for? more specifically regarding the laws and regulation of Bangladesh. Following the moral and social aspects of Bangladesh, is it right for any individual, regardless of their, age, gender, or profession to get physically abducted neverless horrendously totured. I beleive that His Excellency the British High Commissioner should simultaneously acknowledge this matter in greater depth, conducting a sovereign enquiry to the Bangladeshi High commisioner, His Excellency himself, and find a way to resolve this issue sufficiently, hence, on the grounds of leaving justice reserved for Brother Rizwan Hussain and us British Bangladeshi’s on the whole. I hope that my point is taken into consideration, and a full return to democracy is abtained.
    Mine and My Family’s Du’ah is with Brother Rizwan Hussain and his family, may Allah grant him a speedy recovery, inshallah.
    Allah Hafiz.

  29. Shanaz — on 7th May, 2008 at 12:56 am  

    Rizwan Bhai u have mine and my families dua… May u recover quick, n may Allah provide u with inner strength to ova cum any uncomfortable situation. Ur father too have mine n my family pray’s n dua…. may he 2 recover well….Shanaz

  30. Shan — on 7th May, 2008 at 1:06 am  

    I wont say am scared if anything like that was to happen to me, bcoz i can indure da pain, wat am tryin to say is dat to me da pain is greater wen u c 1 of ur loved 1 going thru it. I dont thing i will be able to handle it…. therfore dis issue must b addressed, n rizwan bhai shud get justice, becoz if he does, den evry bangladeshi’s achieves success future for all will be brighter. So far its cumin along good. I just want my brothers back safe n sound to me, n dat too in one piece…. jus now i’am feeln impatient. Rizwan Bhai all da best in ur recovery, may u get have a fast recovery….

  31. Faruk Chowdhury — on 8th May, 2008 at 4:15 pm  

    From my point of view the incident was unnecessary. There was no need for physical abuse. The Bangladeshi Officials who carried out the act of cruelty are unprofessional and are the same as animals. They should be treated in the same fashion as they did to Brother Rizwan. I don’t know Brother Rizwan personally but i have been to the “Channel S” studio and seen him, he’s seem very calm and collective, and can’t believe some can do this to him.
    The Bangladeshi Government should take this matter very seriously and ban those so called official from the job and working anywhere else. If they don’t take action now then it’s a risk for the future, this will continue to happen. I remember the same incident happened twice and nothing was done about it and look what it caused now, seriously this has to stop for all our safety in Bangladesh.
    I hope Brother Rizwan gets justice for this, which was not right.

  32. anwar — on 19th May, 2008 at 11:47 am  

    Hi all and salaams to all Muslims, greeting to other faiths, I agree with everyone above but would like to add, why are Bengalis always suffering and people don’t take notice? Why is our life’s less important than our white counterpart?

    Why are British high commission not taking this matter higher like they have done with other white cases, and why are the British mainstream media not taking this matter upon mainstream news?

    I don’t have all the answers could some one tell me why? Is it because we don’t have the languages, confidence, or people in position or do we just fight among you and look for positing in society rather than the common good?

    The Bangladesh government have never taken British Bengalis seriously because we say but don’t do and too much brown nose toward them, lets become more British like and complain to our white MP at make any positive change,

    You any comment on this Anwar, Bradford, Yorkshire

  33. Amir — on 19th May, 2008 at 4:44 pm  

    Hi Salam,

    It’s a shame what’s happened to br. Rizwan, hopefully all our so called leaders can now come togather and to some thing, or will they all want to give more speech and less substances. It’s about time we took some action. This gov’t will only understand stick talk.

  34. Rukshana Ahmed — on 29th May, 2008 at 4:55 pm  

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Inshallah everyone is in the best of health and Imaan.

    Regarding this incident I would like to say, what happened to brother Rizwan Hussain is pure and attar disgusting. Words can not express how disgusted I feel over this unpleasant incident, not only because it happened to a good humble person like brother Rizwan who works exceedingly hard for the Deen but further to the reason that no-one has the right to beat any person and more to the fact out of humanity it’s wrong, from one human to another and further worse from the same Ummah. It’s beyond belief.

    But, we must think with a clear head and not think in anger or react in anger as our main resolution is, we want justice in a peaceful way for brother Rizwan and all British Bangladeshi’s travelling to Bangladesh. We mustn’t overlook these people that did this cruel act to brother Rizwan are also human and we must never forget that regardless of how much ‘anger’ we feel towards them, their still apart of Allah’s creation. We must learn to forgive them, pray for them, may Allah help and guide them into the right path, may Allah have mercy upon them and give them the understanding between right and wrong.

    Finally my Dua’s for brother Rizwan and his family, for every ache and pain you feel, may Allah give you strength, for every tear you drop, may Allah give you subr and for every hardship you face, may Allah ease your hearts… Inshallah.

    May Allah have mercy upon us all and guide us in the path He wishes for us to travel upon… Ameen.

    Allah Hafiz.
    Rukshana Ahmed – Luton.

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