05/08/2019

Urgent Action: Fears of Activist’s Enforced Disappearance (Bangladesh: UA 60.19)


Indigenous rights activist Michael Chakma has been missing since 9 April 2019, when he was on his way to Dhaka from Kanchpur in Naryanganj. An organizer of a Chittagong Hill Tracts based political party, his family and fellow activists fear that he has been forcibly disappeared. Bangladesh government must urgently determine the whereabouts of Michael Chakma and, if he is under the government’s custody, release him immediately unless he is promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offense.

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Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan
Ministry of Home Affairs
Bangladesh Secretariat
Abdul Gani Road
Dhaka-1000
Bangladesh
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Mohammad Ziauddin
Embassy of Bangladesh
3510 International Drive NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 244 0183
Fax: 202 244 2771, 202 244 7830
Contact form: https://bit.ly/2FzcITR
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister Khan,

Indigenous activist Michael Chakma, 38, was last seen on 9 April 2019 when he was on his way from Narayanganj to Dhaka. Michael Chakma was visiting industrial workers from the Chittagong Hill Tracts to discuss plans for the upcoming Indigenous festival and events to mark the six-year anniversary of the fatal collapse of Rana Plaza, where more than 1,000 people died.

His family and friends went to the Sonargaon police station in Narayanganj to ask if he was being detained and filed a complaint. It was only on 16 April 2019, one week after Michael Chakma went missing, that the police registered a formal report about his disappearance. The last known location of Michael Chakma was at Cantonment in Dhaka on 15 April 2019, which the police identified by tracking his mobile phone, said a statement by the United Workers’ Democratic Front. Since then, and despite frequent visits to the police station by Michael’s family, the authorities have not provided to them any further information regarding the investigation. Michael Chakma is an Indigenous rights activist and an organizer of the Chittagong Hill Tracts based political party United People’s Democratic Front. He has been vocal against abuses committed by the military in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and has campaigned for an end to military rule in the region.

Therefore, I call on you to ensure that the Bangladesh authorities immediately reveal the fate and whereabouts of Michael Chakma and release him if he is in the custody of Bangladeshi authorities, unless he is promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offense; ensure prompt, independent and effective investigations into all allegations of enforced disappearance, and if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute them in fair trials; ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

Yours sincerely,

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