From the Editor-in-Chief: The disappeared citizens must be recovered

Enayetullah Khan
Thursday, November 16th, 2017
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We are deeply saddened.

 

In the past three months, ten citizens have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The manner in which a teacher at North South University, Mubashar Hasan, has gone missing has given us again the pain we have felt at the disappearances of other individuals before him. And while the outcry over the disappearance of the young academic rises to a crescendo, we now have news that a publisher too has been picked up by unidentified people from his Gulshan home. In other words, the menace of disappearances, or call it kidnapping or abduction, goes on and no one in the administration seems to be in a position to reassure the nation that purposeful efforts are being made not only to have the disappeared citizens rescued but also to identify the elements behind these abductions.

 

We have a democratically elected government in place in which we as citizens have placed all our trust. We realize that this government has been making all-out efforts to ensure the growth and consolidation of democracy along with a restoration of secular liberal values in the country. In the past many years, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her administration have boldly tackled such dangers as religious fanaticism and have gone purposely into weeding out all manner of terrorism in the country. Along the frontier, the government has successfully put an end to the cross-border terrorism which once threatened our relations with our neighbours. It is therefore in the fitness of things that we expect this government to do all that is necessary in ensuring that our citizens are treated with respect, that those who have vanished without trace are located and brought back to light.

 

The government must go into a full-scale operation against these enforced disappearances. The ten individuals who have gone missing need to be returned to their families. There have been instances in the recent past when individuals kidnapped have been swiftly returned because the government’s agencies went into high gear about recovering them. Let that same dedication be applied today in the task of recovering our ten missing citizens.

 

The message must go out, loud and clear, to the authorities that they owe it to the country to have the disappeared citizens recovered and restored to their families and to society. For the National Human Rights Commission and other rights and citizens’ bodies, it is essential that they raise their voices against these disappearances — and continue to do so — until this menace comes to an end.

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