The International Human Right Committee (IHRC) is shocked to learn about the violent attack which took place on March 03 2023, at the inaugural day of the 98th annual convention of Ahmadi Muslims in Bangladesh, held at Ahmednagar, Panchagarh.
Religious fanatics incited by extremist clerics attacked the convention as a large mob. The charged mob vandalized, torched, and looted several dozens of households and shops belonging to Ahmadi Muslims.
During the attack, Jahid Hasan, a young man around 25 years of age, was clobbered to death while trying to protect the convention grounds. Four others were rushed to the hospital in serious condition, while many dozens were injured to a lesser extent. It is particularly tragic that the attack took place in broad daylight with the police, often silent onlookers.
Several households were completely burnt down, leaving nothing behind. The day before the attack, some youth had also vandalized and torched several homes, even violating a grave and shattering the tombstone of senior community members.
Picture of Jahid Hasan, a young man around 25 years of age, who was clobbered to death while trying to protect the convention grounds during the attack
Despite assurances from the District Commissioner and the District Superintendent of Police that necessary measures would be taken to ensure the safety of the annual convention, the police remained silent or lenient during the majority of the attack.
IHRC condemns this violent attack and calls on the authorities to take swift and effective action to bring the perpetrators to justice. The right to peaceful freedom of assembly and to practice one’s faith is a fundamental human right that must be protected. We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families.
We request your support, along with your friends and contacts, for strong action to call for Freedom of Religion and safeguard of Fundamental Human Rights from the government of Bangladesh. The world should pressure the Government of Bangladesh to harness each and every culprit, who has been nurturing hatred and inciting violence resulting in this brutal attack and killings of Ahmadis. Moreover, all assailants of brutal killing of Ahmadis should also be brought to justice as an urgent priority of the state.
There is an increase in faith-based persecution incidents by non-state actors on Ahmadis residing all over Bangladesh. Despite such incidents the government and law enforcement agencies have failed to protect members of the Ahmadiyya Community and in curbing the hate speech. This continuous persecution testifies to the utter disregard of the Community’s rights in Bangladesh and creates a deep sense of insecurity within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community members.
On 13 July 2021, UN human rights experts expressed their deep concern over the lack of attention to the serious human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadiyya community around the world and called on the international community to step up efforts in bringing an end to the ongoing persecution of Ahmadis.
We strongly urge the international community to impress upon the Government of Bangladesh to honour its responsibility, to provide effective protection and freedom of religious practice to Ahmadis, take strong legal action so that the master minds and the perpetrators of such vicious attacks should be brought to justice, and to bring the implementations of its laws and practices in conformity with international standards as ordained by Article 20, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 2, 18 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 25, 26.