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RESEARCH AND EMPOWERMENT ORGANIZATION (REO):

REO is a worldwide campaigning movement dedicated to protecting the human rights of people in Bangladesh. In particular, we work for minorities in Bangladesh. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct, and to bring offenders to justice. RESEARCH AND EMPOWERMENT Organization (REO) initiates investigations on the spot upon receiving information from victims of violations, or after being alerted to violations by newspaper reports. RESEARCH AND EMPOWERMENT Organization (REO) also coordinates fact-finding missions, collects evidence and speaks to witnesses and local authorities. We act on International standard refer to the right of minorities to participation, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Minorities of 1992 and the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of Minorities which entered into force in 1998.
REO investigates and expose human rights violations and hold oppressors accountable. It demands government and those who hold the power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights laws. REO follow the guideline like UDHR, International Human Rights Organizations. In general, REO is working to end xenophobia, human rights abuse, racial discrimination, civil resentment, brutality, black laws and oppression against minorities in Bangladesh.

Mission Statement
REO is a Non-Profit human rights organization and have no political interest of any sorts; however REO will oppose any government law that discriminates minorities and others regardless of religious including 8th amendment of Bangladesh constitution and Vested (Enemy) Property act. Racial discrimination and xenophobia in Bangladesh must be ended and any offender who has committed human rights abuse against women, minorities and others should be prosecuted. REO will pursue activities through the worldwide campaign and followed by an appeal to the government of Bangladesh and world leaders to end human rights abuses in Bangladesh and rest of the world.

Aims and Objectives:

1. Promote Human Rights, help stop human rights abuses against minorities in Bangladesh and bring offenders to justice for their criminal conducts of present and past.

2. Encourage and promote worldwide campaign on “THE PLIGHTS OF MINORITIES IN BANGLADESH”
3. Provide all required humanitarian assistance to Refugees and destitute minorities of Bangladesh.
4. Provide required assistance to the other organizations/individual serving “Destitute Bangladesh Minorities”
5. Encourage communication and collaboration among the organizations serving “Bangladesh Minorities” like Hindu, Christian, Buddha, Ahemedia and indigenous and others.
6. Work with UN to help the oppressed Bangladesh Minorities and provide assistance to improve their living condition and safeguard them to live enjoying full rights as enshrined in UDHR.

7. Ensure and monitor that Bangladesh government implements UDHR in its entirety and record any violation of such guideline.
8. Work with International community to ensure that Bangladesh government enforces laws of International norm and safeguard Bangladesh minorities irrespective any political situation and provides dignity and recognition to minorities in Bangladesh. This includes but not limited to the immediate abolishment of any discriminatory act written and unwritten.
9. Encourage individuals/organizations to continue uninterrupted social service specific to the well-being of “Bangladesh Minorities”.
10 Provide all required services to families belonging to “Bangladesh Minorities” at home and abroad.

Focus Areas:

Sexual violence, forceful conversion against Minority women and children.
Legal Assistance to Minority Victims.
Land grabbing by way of black laws i.e. Vested Property Act.
Violence against religious and ethnic minorities
Minority Rights in Chittagong Hill Tracts area.
Temple destruction/grabbing of lands belonging to Minorities.

 

Along with other human rights activists, REO presented a paper and press briefing at the Dhaka Reporters Unity Club on 09.04.2016 where Puspita Gupta- the councillor of UK and the chairman of Secular Bangladesh Movement,UK.Disaster Management Minister Mr. Narayan Chandra Chandra, A leading human rights activits Sultana Kamal and Community leader Mr. Kajal Debnath
were also present on that occasion. The news was published on 10.04.2016 in the Daily Star, eibela.com, the Daily Nation, and New Age.

The Minorities are affected since 1905 and till today this has become a regular phenomena. Previous Monirities were affected before or after the election of Bangladesh but now a days there are no any single days where the minorities are not affecting. However, the International War Tribunal gave the verdict of death penalty to the Jamat Islami leader Delewer Hossain Saydee, the jamat Shibir made a crack down throughout the country and attacked the Hindu community of Bangladesh.Picture : REO’s arranged an human Chain due to 5 person killed, 27 hindu houses burned and many people were injured after the verdict of war criminal delowar hossain saydee.

REO took participate to observed the International Human Rights Day, 10th December 2015 that organized by the Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission, REO made a human chain in front of Dhaka press club. After that, we attended a meeting held at the Bangla Academy. Along with many others, we were present on that occasion.
Picture: REO observed Human Rights day in 2015

REO atteded a human chain rally and protest at the Dhaka press club on the International Human Rights Day in 2014. There are at least 15 minority organizations including us. REO argured that the government should immediately stop the violence against minorities in Bangladesh. However, we presented the year-long violence data to the journalist on that day. We told that if the government and the people works together then within a short time these may come to an end.
Picture : REO organised a rally with others to obsered the Human Rights Day-2014

REO team went for fact finding to Ghorashal, Munshigonj Upazila where the house of a university teacher Prof Debazit data has been grapped by a few influential persons including local Mayor. A few people are forcefully trying to take signature from Mr. Rakhal data father of Prof Debazit data to occupy the land and other belongings. REO team visited the spot. We talked with the police and others authority. However,the victims not get justice yet. Picture: REO team at the grass root level for fact finding at Mushiginj
REO attended one of the community scholarship programs at Manikgong the organized by Dinesh Chandra Sarkar Sir Foundation. They provided incentives and certificate to the needy brilliant students so that they can be able to pursue their education. The picture on the right shows REO present a paper on 5th June 2015 at press club. Few high officials also present on that program.

REO arranged an human chain in front of press club and REO attend a program as a special guest at the Dhaka University where REO present a paper as key note speaker.
Picture: In 2014, a human chain and a press conference at press club protesting violence against minorities in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi minorities are continuously living in anxiety and insecurity. Their lands are grabbed, female and girls are raped, frequently forced to convert their religions, temples are being demolished, idols vandalized, houses burnt, people murdered, and kidnapped, threatened for extortions, businesses are being looted or minorities are being forced for an exodus. There is not a single day that the minorities are not affected. During and after election, the minority becomes the victim. The Daily star published a report on 11.04.2016. It shows that in 2015 , Murdered – 24 people, Injured -239, kidnapped -24 female , Forcefully converted – 9 girls ,Raped – 25 female and girls , Gang raped- 10 , Murdered after rape -2, 1577 houses, especially of the minorities , are burnt.

Case -07: Soma Rani Das, Syllet.

Chandan Sarkar: Ms. Soma Rani Das (17) father of Karunamoyee Das, Mother of Ms. Pranati Rani Das Village : Haratoil, (Betu) P.O Chatulbazar, Urepazila – Kanaighat- Disit : Sylhet. Hindu College girl has been kidnapped and forcefully converted to Islam on 23th June, 2015 at Sylhet. The victim is a student of Goainghrat Degree College of 1st year. While Soma was going to her college to attend her classes she was kidnapped from 5 No. Alirgaon Union on the pucca road of Manikgonj Hatirpara within Goainghat, of Sylhet. she was kidnapped on 14th June, 15 at about 9 a.m. by Md. Zobair Ahmed Shohel (23) 2) Md. Khaled Ahmed, 3) Hizbul Ahmed (22), 4) Abdur Rahim (50), 5) Mst. Sirazun Nessa Begum. She was crying for rescue but nobody came forward to rescue her. The perpetrators: 1)Md. Zobair Ahmed Shohel (23) 2) Md. Khaled Ahmed, 3) Hizbul Ahmed (22), Date of occurrence: 14.06.2015 about 9 a.m. Place of occurrence: 5 No. Alirgaon Union on the pucca road of Hatirpara within Goainghat, of Sylhet. The victims uncle Shankar Das son of Satish Chandra Das did a complaint against the perpretators Case Number: Goainghat PS case No.02 dated 03.07.2015 under section 7(30) of Women and Children Act,2015. The uncle of the victim – Shankar Das made a general diary No.653 dated 16.06.2015 at Goanghat police station as soon as they came to know that Soma was untraceable , as the victim could not be recovered till 03.07.2015 the uncle of the victim lodged First information report (FIR) Goanghat police station against above noted five accused persons. : ( Goainghat PS case No.02 dated 03.07.2015 under section 7(30) of Women and Children Act,2015 ) . We visited the place at about 5 p.m. visited the spot, met with legal guardian of the victim. We also visited Officer in charge of Goainghat police station, talked with Officer in charge that made us to understand the victim made an affidavit before the Notary public that she has been converted to Islam denouncing Hinduism. The news of such action has been published in the daily newspaper “Sylheter Dak” dated 24th June, 2015. Police delayed to recover the victim and the I.O. of the case Abdul Hoque did not take action as per report of her legal guardian.

Case -08: Ms. Nupur Rani Shil, Maizchara, Noakhali Sadar.

Ms.Nupur Rani Sheel (12), Father of Shymol Chandra Sheel (42), Mother of Ms. Rina Rani Sheel (35), village: East Maizchara, Ward No.4, P.S –Sudharam, 20- Underchar Union, District: Noakhali Sadar Bangladesh. A minor Hindu School girl kidnapped by School Teacher & his associates on 17.12.2015 for rape and forceful conversion to Islam from Noakhali (Victim not yet rescued) . Ms. Nupur Rani Shil (12) daughter of Shymol Chandra Shil was the student of class VI at Kusum Kumari Girls’s High school within Sudharam at Noakhali District. The victim was kidnapped from her dwelling house- Maizchra within Alexander Union forcefully on 17.12.2015 at about 7.30 P.M.

under the leadership of perpetrator –Pre-cadet School teacher–Siddique Ullah (25) son of late Islamil and others in presence of her mother- Ms.Rina Rani Shil. She is a minor girl- Date of birth: 30.12.2004. The Name of perpetrators: 1)Md. Siddique Ullah Russel (25) son of Late Ismail. 2) Md.Joynal (35) son of late Anisul Hoque, 3) Md. Sheikh Farid (30) son of Noor Nabi, 4) Mahafuz Master (37), son of late Shamsuddin. Religion of the perpetrators: Islam, Date of occurrence: 17th December, 2015 at about 7.30 p.m. Place of occurrence: Sudharam – Purba Maizchara, Ward No.4, JL -27 District- Noakhali -Bangladesh. Name of the complainant: Shymol Chandra Sheel (42) son of late Monoranjan Sheel Permanent address of the complaint:
Present Address of the complainant: Laksmipur Alexandar within Laksmipur P.S. Dist. Laksmipur. Shymol Chandra Shil- father of victim lodged first information report (FIR) to Officer in charge of Sudharam police station in writing on 18.12.2015 for recovery of her minor daughter. Accordingly a case No. 14 dated 18.12.2015 under section 7/30 of Women and Children Repression Act, 2003 had been started against 5 (five) kidnappers. Fatmher of the victim approached the Superintendent of Police for recovery of her daughter but police failed to rescue the victim.

REO came to know this incident of kidnapping communicated with Md. Illias Shareef – Superintendent of Police-Noakhali over his mobile and came to know that police could not rescue the victim despite their earnest endeavor, but two accused persons namely Joynal Abedin and Mahafuz Master have been arrested on 29.04.16 in connection with this case. The S.P. also imparted REO that due to lapses on the part of previous investigating officer of Sudharam PS he had already transferred this case to Detective Branch within his jurisdiction for quick recovery of the victim. I also contacted with Md. Nurul Alam- I.O. of the case over his mobile No.01854858585 who also gave us to understand that he arrested accused No.4 Mahafuz Master for interrogation on 29.04.2016. Md. Nurul Alam- S.I. of Police also gave me to understand that the accused Joynal Abedin has been granted bail by the Magistrate without giving any opportunity to police to trace out the victim. Even the Magistrate committed error of law in allowing the F.I.R. named accused on bail giving opportunity to perpetrator to commit crime without any investigation. We also came to know that the mother and father of the victim has now a victim of terrorism and police was found silent on this matter. Perpetrators are also posing threat on this destitute family to withdraw the case from the court.

we, on behalf of REO talked with Shymol Chandra Shil –father of victim who cried for urgent recovery of the victim because he apprehend that the victim might be forcefully converted to Islam or she might be raped by several persons during custody of perpetrators.

Case -10 : Ms Popy Mallick, Narayanganj.

Ms. Popy Mallick (15), Victim’s father name: Narayan Mallick (47)
Victim’s mother name: Maya Mallick (40), 43, A.C. Dhar Road, Near Radha Rani Store, P.O.&P.S. Narayanganj Sadar, District- Narayangonj. Ms. Popy Mallick (15) daughter of Narayan Mallick was the examinee of Secondary School certificate Examination at Mortgern Girls’s High school within Narayangonj City Corporation at Narayangonj. While the victim was waiting near Grindlays Bank-Chashara area on the date and time mentioned all on a sudden Mohammad Nazmul Sakar (23) son of Nalu Sarkar, Md. Soleman (20) and unknown four perpetrators intercepted her and took her away by a Micro Bus and fled away towards unknown destination. The mother Ms.Popy Mallick came to know about kidnapping of her daughter she went to house of perpetrators, but perpetrators threatened mother and father of the victim and said “If you lodge any complain to police the members of your family would be killed” A minority Hindu School girl kidnapped on 13.03.2016 for rape and forceful conversion to Islam by Perpetrator. Date of birth of victim: 30.12.2000.Name of perpetrators: 1) Mohammad Nazmul Sakar (23) son of Nalu Sarkar, 2)Md. Soleman (20) son of Mohabbat Ali Religion of the perpetrators: Islam,Place of occurrence: Near Grind lays Bank of Chashara, Narayanganj, Bangladesh.

Case 11: Ms.Pushpa Rani Chatterjee, Dinesjpur

Ms.Pushpa Rani Chatterjee (16), Shree Narayan Chatterjee (53), Dinespur. Hindu College girl was kidnapped on 10.03.2016 for forceful conversion to Islam from Nosipur High School and College at Dinajpur District by several perpetrators. The names of the perpetrators are 1) Mohammad Shaheen Hossain (22), 1) Mohammad Akbar Ali (23), 3) Mohammad Zabbar Ali (26), 4) Mohammad Nayan (22), 5) Mohammad Hossain (19), 6) Md. Faruk (22). ( Dinajpur recovered the girl with the help of local Police, but Judicial Magistrate Dinajpur detained her for forceful conversion to Islam)
Facts of the case is that while the victim girl was coming from her college towards her home on 10th March,16 at about 12.30 p.m.all on a sudden the above noted Muslim perpetrators intercepted her and compelled her to board a while color Micro Bus and decamped towards unknown destination. father of the victim girl lodged F.I.R. at Kotwali Police station at Dinajpur town being Kotwali P.S. case No.24 dated 13.03.2016 under section 7(30) of Nari-O-Shishu Nirjatan Ain,2003 against six perpetrators.
Police recovered the victim girl with the help of REO Team at Dinajpur Chapter on 21.03.2016 and the victim girl is now under the jurisdiction of court of Dinajpur. Our correspondent from Dinajpur informed REO that the Magistrate (Muslim) most illegally teaching the victim not to go back to her father and mother. This attitude of judicial Magistrate is most illegal and out an out communal. During cross examination of victim our representative Kamal Karmakar was present at the room of Magistrate.
We are very much concerned about illegal approach of Judicial Magistrate and such indoctrination should be investigated. And the victim should be released to her father and mother as the age of the victim is below 18 years. The perpetrators responsible for kidnapping should be arrested soon.

Case-12: Ms. Supriya Rani (Joya) Roy, Khirgonj

Ms. Supriaya Rani Roy -13, Hindu School girl (13), Father’s name : Sanjit Chandra Roy.Mother’s Name: Beauty Rani Roy, village – Nirchintapur, Police Station – Pakundia, District – Kishorgong. A Hindu minor girl Ms Supriya Rani Jaya (13) daughter of Sanjit Chandra Roy(F) and Beauty Rani Roy(M) kidnapped within Pankundia Police Station of Kishorgong district on 8th Nov,15. The victim girl Supriya Rani Jaya was student of class seven of Pakundia Girl High School. According to the statement of victims mother Beauty Rani Roy, his girl was teased by the alleged perpetrator Sany Mia (25) adopted son of Nayan Mia of Hapania village. On 08th October 2015 around 6.10 am of morning the victim Supriya Rani jaya (13) went out from her dewing house towards Pakundia Girl College for taking education. Around 6.30 am when she reached in front of Pakundia Land Office the perpetrators Sany Mia, Sealim Mia along with 2/3 unknown perpetrators frocefully picked her up to a CNG Rikshaw. From then the girl still untreaced. Police arrested two accused perpetrators but they are on bail now. There are some eye witnesses of the of the incident namely, 1) Babul Mia son of late Abul Hosen village Lokkhia, 2) Eti Akter daughter of Giyas Uddin village Nischitapur, 3) Putul daughter of Ala Uddin village Hapania, 4) Subajit Roy village Niscintapur 5) Al- Amin son of Abul Khalek village Lokkhia, 6) Billal son of late Abdur Salam village Sayodgaon, police staton Pakundia, district Kishorgong.
She has been kidnapped by Muslim perpetrators for forceful conversion to Islam on 08.10.2015 on way to her School at Pakundia Pilot Girls High School at Kishoregonj District. Police could not trace out victim girl. The mother of victim approached to REO office today in writing and cried out for justice and wanted her daughter back; as the perpetrators in collaboration with local Muslims were trying to convert the victim from Hinduism to Islam. REO is very much concerned about abduction of the minor school girl on way to her school from Pakundia Upazila and we also demand immediate rescue of the victim. The perpetrators should be arrested and be punished as per law.

Case -13: Ms.Tumpa Biswas, Satkhira.

Ms.Tumpa Biswas (24) wife of Tapan Biswas- a destitute Hindu victim of Malo Para within Tala Police station at Satkhira District made an appeal to REO during our fact-finding investigation at Tala Upazila on 09.10.2015 that she got no legal assistance from police for alleged sexual assault on her made by some perpetrators dated 16.08.2015. Perpetrators threatening her to withdraw case.
Police took cognizance under section 459/325/326/307 of penal code (grievous hurt caused while committing lurking house of victim) instead of taking cognizance under sexual assault law i.e. Nari-O-Shishi Nirjatan Ain which is complete denial of proper justice to victim. ( Tala PS Case No.11 dated 21.08.2015)
We, along with some HR activists of REO & “Paritran” visited her house at Malo Para and Tumpa was produced before Md. Rezaul Islam – Office-in-Charge of Tala P.S. and she wanted to know why the perpetrators has not yet been arrested despite case was lodged on 21.08.2015 against 1)Selim Moral (35) and 2) Biddut Roy (25). O.C. informed REO that as the victim lodged case against perpetrators on the allegation of section 459/325/326/307 of penal code as such police entertained as per version, police also said as the perpetrators are absconding they could not arrest them. But the victim complained that perpetrators are still threatening the victim to withdraw the case.
REO is very much concerned about dilatory tactics of police to arrest perpetrators responsible for committing sexual assault on the victim. The perfunctory investigation conducted by police is far from satisfactory and the penal section provided is not proper section and due to such investigation the perpetrators may get impunity from punishment as per law.

Case -14: Ms.Minu Rani and her daughter Bristy , Patuakhali

A Hindu woman (35) and her college-going daughter (17) have allegedly been gang raped in a trawler at Bauphal upazila in Patuakhali District on 11th June, 2016.
Nure Alam -A leader of Swechchhasebak League, a pro-Awami League body, has been arrested. The arrestee, Nure Alam, is a vice president of Najirpur union ward-1 Swechchhasebak League, said the unit’s secretary Hasan Mahmud Mintu. Quoting them, police said, they went from their Uttar Kachipara village to Kalaiya area to visit a park at noon on Saturday. Around 4:00pm, they came out of the park and got into a hired bike to go to the house of a relative at a nearby village. However, the engine biker took them to Nindi launch ghat instead of Park. Nure Alam along with five other youths forcibly made the victims board a trawler where they were gang raped later, said police and victims. Hearing a hue and cry, some fishermen near Char Esha of the Tetulia river approached the trawler around 12:30am yesterday. Sensing their presence, all but Nur jumped into the river and fled. The fishermen caught the alleged rapist and rescued the victims. They were handed over to the police later. AZM Faruqee, officer-in-charge of Bauphal Police Station, claimed that Nure Alam confessed his involvement in the incident during his primary interrogation. He said the other “rapists” were also from Najirpur union and aged between 20 and 25, added the OC. A case was filed with Bauphal police over the incident lodged by husband of Ms.Minu Rani. The mother and the daughter were sent to Patuakhali General Hospital for medical tests, police said, adding that they were trying to arrest the alleged remaining rapists.
Ms.Minu Rani cried and said ‘ I and my daughter Ms.Bristy started to visit the residence of girl friend –Ms.Sharna at about 11.00 am 11/06/2016 from my house. We went to Kachipara by a auto-rickshaw and then we boarded a rented motor cycle toward Sona Parak. The park was not known by us. Then I told the motor cycle carrier to reach us towards our home, but the Motor bike holder assured us to make us reach at home. But suddenly the rain fall started and we took shelter nearby a house and after the rain fall stopped then we started to board Motor bike to reach our destination. At about 5.00/5.30 p.m. the motor bike holder brought us near the unknown river side and we saw eight to nine persons waiting for us in a trawler. The waited persons asked us to board the trawler and thereafter threatened us to quickly board in the trawler, we have been compelled to board the trawler and some of the persons pushed us to board the trawler, we found a blue polithin within the trawler and we have been asked to go to polythin cover in the Trawler, I refused to go to within the polythin cover then one accused Harun said “ I am a Government servant if the people see there might be some problem”. Ms. Minu Rani said “ I recognized one perpetrator Sagor who earlier visited our home where we stay. To collect our Mobile numbers Sagor visited our home He was the initiator of gang-rape scenario. Police could not arrest Sagor

till today. Sagor forcefully raped me and I tried to avoid but he started to blow me on my nose; thereafter I was raped one after another, I became senseless and I also requested all of the perpetrators not to rape her daughter but the perpetrators started to rape brutally without my consent. They also stolen my golden chain and they also took video and picture of rape scenario. They also video-taped the scenario of rape and they also took photo our nude pictures. The local people came forward as we started to hue and cry. While perpetrators were trying to flee away some people caught hold of Nur Alam. We have been rescued by the local people, we have been sent to Upazila Health complex and we have been sent to Patuakhali Medical Hospital for treatment. Local people informed the local Union Parishad member who also helped to call police for necessary legal assistance.

Case 18: Kona Rani Das, Barguna:

Kona Rani Bepari (18) father of Bikash Chandra bapari and Mother of Renu rani, Village Shingra Bunia, Patharghata, Barguna. When the Kona Rani is coming back from her college the perpetrator Dost Mohammed 45 kidnapped her and put into a micro bus and flown away an unknown destination.

The real fact is that Dost Mohammed (45 years) is a married and has two children. He was friend’s of Kona’s maternal uncle. Friend of uncle that why he has free access to enter into the house. Due to easy and free access he takes advantage of Kona Rani and after that the relation was broken. On the day of 19.04.2015 when she returned from her college, Dost Mohammed and gangs forcefully took her and forcefully put into a Miro bus and flown away an unknown destination. To reduce the girl the police did not do anything for the beginning.

After a long 1 month 9 days when kept the pressure to the law and order authority they recued that girl. But very interestingly to avoid the arrest the perpetrator Md Mohammed did a affidavit to change her name and showing that Kona her wife because he went a Kazi office give some money to them they allow to Nikah with Kona Rani without her concerned. At this period of time she is pregnant. Kona is now staying with her family and maybe she has a two options right now either she is going for suicide or again return back to the culprit Dost Mohammed who has already one wife and two children.