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Bangladeshi rights activist Nur Khan escapes abduction

Nur Khan, rights activist and leader of the investigation unit of the rights organisation Ain-O-Shalish Kendra (ASK), narrowly escaped an abduction attempt near his Lalmatia office in the capital, on 15 May 2014.

On the evening of Thursday 15 May, while Khan was on his way home from work, a group of men in a white Microbus followed him and blocked the rickshaw he was on. Khan jumped off the rickshaw and rushed back to the Ain-O-Shalish Kendra office. A General Diary has been filed with the local police station alleging that a group of unidentified men tried to abduct him a few yards from his office. Khan also mentioned that previously on 20 April he was shadowed by an unidentified man.

Khan has been a vocal voice against extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearances. He has called for the removal of top officials from the law enforcement agencies for failing to ensure a fair and impartial investigation into the recent killings of seven people, including a councilor and panel mayor of City Corporation of Narayanganj.

The attempted abduction follows a series of incidents of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances totaling fifty four cases in the first three month of the year alone. Recently, civil society, rights organisations and the NGO community were shocked when AB Siddiqui, the husband of Green activist Rizwana Hasan, was abducted on the afternoon of 16 April. While he was thankfully released after 35 hours, civil society organizations remained deeply concerned at the lack of protection provided by authorities for activists and journalists.

Speaking to ARTICLE 19, Nur Khan commented:

"Abductions and enforced disappearances are taking place in the name of law enforcement agencies. I urge the Government to take these incidents into serious consideration and take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of citizens and human rights defenders and to protect their right to speak freely and without fear".

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