Curtailment of Freedom of Expression
|There had been intimidation, by various intelligence
agencies and the military, of people who had been, or
were thought to have been, in contact with the human
rights groups, such as the Chittagong Hill Tracts
Commission, Amnesty International, Survival International
etc. Others were harassed merely because they possessed
copies of the various human rights report.
2 June 1992
Amiyo Kanti Chakma, a photographer and member of the Bangladesh Photographic Society was arrested by the Police for having taken photographs after the Logang massacre.
10 January 1991
Some days after the CHT Commission left Bangladesh, officers of the National Security Intelligence (NSI) went to the residence of Sachin Chakma in Dhaka, apparently to arrest him on the charges of being a member of the Jana Samhati Samiti, collaboration with the CHT Commission and anti state activities. They did not find him at home. Sachin Chakma and his family have been forced to go in hiding. In March, and again in May the Commission wrote to Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to protest about the intimidation and arrest of people Commission members had been in contact with, and to protest specifically against the intended arrest of Sachin Chakma. The Commission had not received any answer to these letters.
31 August 1991
At the initiative of the Bangladesh Nagarik (Citizens) Committee the report of the CHT Commission "Life Is Not Ours" was reprinted. The Special Branch of Police confiscated all 960 copies of the reprinted report, arrested Mr. Shaheedullah and Rashidur Rahman and only released them after many hours of interrogation. The CHT Commission sent a protest letter to Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, but had received no reply.
15 September 1991
Mr. Sushil Pyakurel, coordinator of the Nepali organisation Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) was interrogated for one and a half hours at Dhaka airport for having a copy of "Life Is Not Ours". All his luggage was searched and all his documents were photocopied.
14 October 1991
The daily paper New Nation reported that shortly after publishing an article about the CHT Commission's report the weekly Purbabash was contacted by the Home Ministry. "Because they had published articles which 'create tension in society' they were to cease publication until further notice." The newspaper commented: "The many articles in the newspapers about Bengali demands for 'equal rights' in the CHT, however, do not seem to be viewed as creating tension in society."
12 October 1991
Three Jumma people were arrested and tortured in Khagraehari district because they were carrying a magazine 'RADAR', published by the Jumma students, in which the recommendations of the report of the CHT Commission were translated into Bengali.