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Bangladesh: Fear for Safety - Rowsha n Ara Begum her family, lawyers and persecution witnesses

, Index number: ASA 13/006/2000

The Government of Bangladesh has not responded to Amnesty International's concerns that it may have failed to ensure due process to Rowshan Ara Begum who is seeking legal redress for rape.

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 13/06/00
21 August 2000
Further information on UA 173/00 (ASA 13/05/00, 22 June 2000) - Fear for Safety
BANGLADESHRowshan Ara Begum, her family, lawyers and prosecution witnesses
Rowshan Ara Begum, an elected member of the Union Parishad (local council), was
raped in her home in the Kishorgonj District of Dhaka by two men and three
accomplices on 1 May 1999. The five accused were subsequently arrested, but
three were released on bail. Since their release, the men have threatened Rowshan
Ara Begum, her children and her lawyers. At least one prosecution witness has
failed to appear in the trial for fear of reprisal. Amnesty International has
called on the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of Rowshan Ara Begum,
her family, lawyers and prosecution witnesses.
The Government of Bangladesh has responded to some of Amnesty International’s
appeals on the Rowshan Ara Begum case. Following the original Urgent Action appeal
on this case, the Government of Bangladesh has taken some steps to ensure Rowshan
Ara Begum’s safety, including providing her with a flat. Also, the Prime
Minister’s Office has instructed the local administration to ensure adequate
safety for Rowshan Ara Begum.
While the Government of Bangladesh has assured Amnesty International that it
has taken adequate steps to address her needs for security and protection, Amnesty
International believes that she is still at risk because she, her family and
selected prosecution witnesses continue to receive threats from the three accused
who were released on bail. To Amnesty International’s knowledge, the police have
not responded to complaints registered with them requesting that they act to
ensure Rowshan Ara Begum’s personal safety.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English or in your own language:
**In all your appeals, please include the case reference number: Case Number:
Nari O Shishu Nirjatan, Mumla, 107/99, Kishorgonj.- welcome the response
received by Amnesty International from the Government of Bangladesh stating
that they have taken steps to address the organization’s concerns;
- urge the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that Rowshan Ara Begum, her
lawyers, family, and prosecution witnesses are adequately and durably protected
from harassment, threats and attack;
- urge the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that the police take appropriate
action on complaints registered against those allegedly threatening or
harassing Rowshan Ara Begum, her lawyers, family or prosecution witnesses.
2
APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Office of the Prime Minister
Gona Bhaba
Sher-e Bangla Nagar
Dhaka
Bangladesh
Telegrams: Prime Minister Hasina, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Fax: + 880 2 811 3243
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Mr. Nurul Huda
Inspector-General of Police
Police Headquarter
Fulbaria
Dhaka
Bangladesh
Telegrams: Inspector-General Huda, Fulbaria, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Fax: + 880 2 956 3362
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES TO:
diplomatic representatives of Bangladesh accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 October 2000.

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