(New York) – The Bangladesh government should ensure a thorough and swift investigation, and publicly report on the progress made into the disappearance, torture, and killing of prominent labor rights activist Aminul Islam, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed.
Islam, 39, was a trade union organizer with the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS). He disappeared on April 4, 2012. His body was discovered two days later, almost 100 kilometers from where he was last seen, and showed signs of torture under circumstances that raise concerns of involvement by Bangladeshi security forces.
“A year after the brutal killing of labor leader Aminul Islam, the government has done little to ensure a full investigation, much less prosecute those responsible,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should stand by its public pledges to ensure accountability in this case, and impartially investigate the possible involvement of security forces in Islam’s killing.”
Given the sparseness of evidence provided to date, the government should also press prosecutorial authorities to review the charges lodged in 2010 against Babul Akhter and Kalpona Akhter of BCWS, and ensure they are protected against harassment and abuse by officials, Human Rights Watch said.