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 DSOâ€™s office. At the DSOâ€™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