The kidnapping of Ilias Ali, a leader of the opposition in Bangladesh, requires a strong response by the international community

I spent some time earlier today in Brick Lane meeting representatives of Britain’s Bangladeshi community to discuss the disappearance of Ilias Ali, a leading opposition figure in Bangladesh.

The apparent kidnapping was reported a few days ago by the Guardian who said:

“Ali was the latest in a series of political activists who have apparently been abducted, raising fears of a concerted campaign of intimidation aimed at opposition politicians. At least 22 people have gone missing so far this year, the local human rights organisation Ain o Salish Kendra said. In 2011, the number was 51. Estimates of the exact number vary though all indicate a rising overall total.

Many local and international campaigners have blamed security forces, accusing the paramilitary¬†Rapid Action Battalion (Rab)¬†and local police of eliminating opposition figures¬†to benefit the administration of Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister.”

The pattern of unexplained disappearances of opposition politicians is an extremely disturbing symptom of Bangladeshi politics and it is important that the international community makes clear to the Bangladeshi Government that such tactics – with which they deny any connection – is unacceptable.
I will be seeking to raise the matter in the House of Lords in the new session of Parliament, although obviously I would hope that Ilias Ali will have been restored by then to his family safe and well.


2 thoughts on “The kidnapping of Ilias Ali, a leader of the opposition in Bangladesh, requires a strong response by the international community”

  1. Thanks for your concern. What I think is Bangladesh need army rule – not democracy . You can say I am crazy – yes I am crazy . Sick of this two political party . They don’t do politic for the people -they do politic only to go to power . Their politic is person based not policy based. They always talk about past not about future. That’s why Eu- USA and world should help Bangladesh army to from a government for five year to reorganised the hole system of bangladesh. Band all political party who are now doing politic . Start new policy based political party and band all person based politic. Then might be Bangladesh would be a happy prosperous country -other wise there is no other alternative ???

  2. It will be very appreciated if you raise the issue of Ilias Ali in the House of Lords in this session. This incident draws the attention of many international print and electronic media all over the world. Also all major human right organization deeply express their concern about this matter including Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch, Asian Human Right Commission (AHRC), local human rights organization Ain o Salish Kendra, Odikar. The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) also deeply express their concern about the disappearance in Bangladesh.

    Recently the disappearance tactics is extremely increasing in Bangladesh according to all national news papers especially against the opposition leaders. That is certainly not a good practice under the name of democracy. We are living in UK deeply concern about our relatives at back home about their safe and security.

    The only way to stop the disappearance tactics in Bangladesh, if put pressure to Bangladesh government to release the abducted people to their families.

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