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BDR Rebellion

Before hell broke loose. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina awarding the Bangladesh Rifles Padak and President Rifles Padak to the BDR personnel for their gallantry in performance at BDR Headquarters at Pilkhana in the city. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 24 2009. Zaman/DrikNews

Before hell broke loose. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina awarding the Bangladesh Rifles Padak and President Rifles Padak to BDR personnel for gallantry in performance at BDR Headquarters at Pilkhana. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 24 2009. Zaman/DrikNews

4th March 2009

20 Falgun 1415/3 March 2009

Statement of 23 Concerned Citizens

We are deeply angered and saddened at the horrific killings that took place in Pilkhana on 25th February 2009. We express our deepest grief for the army officers, BDR habildar, subedar and jawans and their family members and the civilian casualties, the pedestrian, domestic worker, rickshaw puller and student. We hope that the countless people who were injured and are currently undergoing treatment, will recover soon.

It is not only the affected families who have lost their loved ones; the nation as a whole has suffered grave losses. While it is true that those who have died will not return, we sincerely hope that their family members will find the strength to withstand their losses, and for their wounds to heal. In trying times such as these, we must all work together to ensure that our struggle for democracy is not lost.

We think that the government’s firmness in resolving the crisis through peaceful means made possible the prevention of further loss of life and bloodshed. The Prime Minister’s well-thought out, firm yet compassionate speech helped defuse tension and ensure the surrender of arms by the rebel forces.

We think that the inclusion of the DG BDR and so many members of the armed forces in the reconstituted probe committee headed by Anisuzzaman Khan is bound to raise questions about its impartiality. The proceedings as well as the findings of the committee must be made public in order to ensure that its workings and recommendations are acceptable to all. We expect that the committee will inquire into the grievances of BDR and army personnel, that it will examine all allegations of corruption and disparity, and take necessary steps. We welcome the Home Ministry’s announcement regarding the equalisation of food subsidies for officers and constables of the police force. We think that the same principle should apply to the BDR and the army.

Many members of the public are of the opinion that the evacuation orders on 26th February for people living within a three kilometre range of the BDR headquarters, made it possible for rebel jawans to join the ranks of fleeing civilians. This announcement not only caused untold misery for the area’s inhabitants, it also helped to fuel rumours. We think that the confusion created over the number of missing army officers is most unfortunate. Official army sources should not make announcements based on speculation; this helped to aggravate resentment. The government must take steps to restore the public confidence in military intelligence, which has eroded as a result of this gross error.

Despite tremendous pressure, the Home Minister, by not speculating on the missing numbers, has shown political wisdom and fortitude.

The political parties have now begun to blame each other, thereby helping to create an environment in which the truth may never be uncovered. We hope that for the sake of national unity they will refrain from making such statements and allow the investigation to proceed judiciously.. The need of the hour is for all to focus our energies on uncovering the truth, and ensure a fair trial and justice following an impartial investigation. We can not put at risk the democratic rule that has been achieved at a tremendous cost.

Shireen Huq (activist, women’s movement)
Dr Shahidul Alam (photographer)
Rowshan Ara (women’s rights activist)
Rahnuma Ahmed (writer)
Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury (health rights activist)
Dr Rebecca Milton (health rights activist)
Professor Anu Mohammod (economist, university teacher)
Zakir Hossain (NGO leader)
Maheen Sultan (activist, women’s movement)
Khushi Kabir (NGO leader)
Syeda Rizwana Hasan (Human Rights Lawyer)
Rina Roy (Human Rights activist)
Professor Firdous Azim (university teacher)
Kamal Lohani (journalist)
Kamrun Nahar (lawyer)
Professor Perween Hasan (university teacher)
Dr Shahdeen Malik (lawyer)
Farida Yasmin (women’s rights activist)
Golam Mostafa (businessman)
Mohiuddin Ahmed (economist, writer)
Samia Afrin (women’s rights activist)
Dr. Lamia Karim (university teacher)
Naseem Ahmed (university official)

Analysis by Rahnuma Ahmed and photo essay by DrikNews

Peoples take part in a procession to Mourn in memory of the departed souls who were killed in the BDR mutiny this afternoon at Central Saheed Minar of Chittagong. Several dead bodies have been lying at many places in and around BDR Headquarter after BDR soldiers rebelled against the army personnel at BDR yesterday. The overall casualties are more than a hundred. Chittagong, Bangladesh. March 02 2009

Peoples take part in a procession to mourn those who were killed in the BDR mutiny, at Central Saheed Minar of Chittagong. Over a hundred people were killed. Chittagong, Bangladesh. March 02 2009. Jashim Salam/DrikNews

Peoples take part in a procession to Mourn in memory of the departed souls who were killed in the BDR mutiny this afternoon at Central Saheed Minar of Chittagong. Several dead bodies have been lying at many places in and around BDR Headquarter after BDR soldiers rebelled against the army personnel at BDR yesterday. The overall casualties are more than a hundred. Chittagong, Bangladesh. March 02 2009

Peoples take part in a procession to mourn the people killed in the BDR mutiny. Central Saheed Minar of Chittagong. Several bodies were found lying in and around BDR Headquarter after BDR soldiers rebelled against the army personnel. The overall casualties are more than a hundred. Chittagong, Bangladesh. March 02 2009. Jashim Salam/DrikNews

About two thousand BDR soldiers reported at the Headquarter in Pilkhana yesterday. A notice issued by the Home Ministry on Saturday at 1.30pm made it mandatory for all BDR personnel to report within 24 hours to the Headquarter. With great uncertainty, the BDR soldiers wait in front of the BDR Headquarter to report and gain entry into the Headquarter.Still they are waitting for reporting. Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 02 2009

About two thousand BDR soldiers reported at the Headquarter in Pilkhana yesterday. A notice issued by the Home Ministry on Saturday at 1.30pm made it mandatory for all BDR personnel to report within 24 hours to the Headquarter. With great uncertainty, the BDR soldiers wait in front of the BDR Headquarter to report and gain entry into the Headquarter.Still they are waitting for reporting. Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 02 2009. Amdadul Huq/DrikNews

Near about two thousands BDR troops were found reporting back to their Headquarter in Peelkhana today. A home ministry notice issued at 1.30pm Saturday called all BDR personnel to report back within 24 hours to their Headquarter Sunday. With great uncertainty, the BDR troops are eagerly waiting in front of their Headquarter to report and get entry into the headquarter. Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 01 2009.

Around two thousands BDR troops were found reporting back to their Headquarter in Peelkhana today. A home ministry notice issued at 1.30pm Saturday called all BDR personnel to report back within 24 hours to their Headquarter Sunday. With great uncertainty, the BDR troops are eagerly waiting in front of their Headquarter to report and get entry into the headquarter. Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 01 2009.


elatives of BDR soldiers waiting in front of Headquarters as the solders reported after the six days of the Pilkhana tragedy Dhaka. Bangladesh February 4 2009.
Relatives of BDR soldiers waiting in front of Headquarters as the solders reported after the six days of the Pilkhana tragedy Dhaka. Bangladesh February 4 2009. Shafiqul Islam Kajol/DrikNews

2nd March 2009

Namaz-e-Janaja was offered to 48 Amry Personals including BDR Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed and his wife Nazneen Shakil Shipu, who were brutally killed during 25th and 26th armed rebellion at the BDR Headquarter. President Zillur Rahman, cabinet members, army, navy and air forces chiefs, political leaders, freedom fighters, families of the slain and members of civil society joined in the memorial ceremony. Md Mahmudul Haque, the khatib of the army central mosque in Dhaka Cantonment, conducted the Namaz-e-Janaja at the National Parade Ground today. The President offered floral wreaths on the coffins of the deceased and condole the souls of the lost soldiers. Dhaka, Bangladesh. March 02 2009

Namaz-e-Janaja was offered to 48 Amry Personals including BDR Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed and his wife Nazneen Shakil Shipu, who were brutally killed during 25th and 26th armed rebellion at the BDR Headquarter. President Zillur Rahman, cabinet members, army, navy and air forces chiefs, political leaders, freedom fighters, families of the slain and members of civil society joined in the memorial ceremony. Md Mahmudul Haque, the khatib of the army central mosque in Dhaka Cantonment, conducted the Namaz-e-Janaja at the National Parade Ground today. The President offered floral wreaths on the coffins of the deceased and condole the souls of the lost soldiers. Dhaka, Bangladesh. March 02 2009. Shafiqul Islam Kajol/DrikNews

Namaz-e-Janaja was offered to 48 Amry Personals including BDR Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed and his wife Nazneen Shakil Shipu, who were brutally killed during 25th and 26th armed rebellion at the BDR Headquarter. President Zillur Rahman, cabinet members, army, navy and air forces chiefs, political leaders, freedom fighters, families of the slain and members of civil society joined in the memorial ceremony. Md Mahmudul Haque, the khatib of the army central mosque in Dhaka Cantonment, conducted the Namaz-e-Janaja at the National Parade Ground today. The President offered floral wreaths on the coffins of the deceased and condole the souls of the lost soldiers. Dhaka, Bangladesh. March 02 2009

The President offered floral wreaths on the coffins of the deceased and condole the souls of the lost soldiers. Dhaka, Bangladesh. March 02 2009. Shafiqul Islam Kajol/DrikNews

Namaz-e-Janaja was offered to 48 Amry Personals including BDR Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed and his wife Nazneen Shakil Shipu, who were brutally killed during 25th and 26th armed rebellion at the BDR Headquarter. President Zillur Rahman, cabinet members, army, navy and air forces chiefs, political leaders, freedom fighters, families of the slain and members of civil society joined in the memorial ceremony. Md Mahmudul Haque, the khatib of the army central mosque in Dhaka Cantonment, conducted the Namaz-e-Janaja at the National Parade Ground today. The President offered floral wreaths on the coffins of the deceased and condole the souls of the lost soldiers. Dhaka, Bangladesh. March 02 2009

Namaz-e-Janaja for 48 Amry Personals including BDR Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed and his wife Nazneen Shakil Shipu. Dhaka, Bangladesh. March 02 2009, Shafiqul Islam Kajol/DrikNews

Dear friends,

We apologise for not getting back to all of you until now. We have not been able to sit together amidst the situation here.

Many of you were not able to access the statement we sent out on 25 February until the next day. As time was of the essence, we sent the statement to the press with the 11 signatories (including us) who were able to confirm their endorsement within the evening. Unfortunately, many of the email addresses we had for newspapers were incorrect and our mail bounced back. We know that Dainik Samakal has printed it, but
have not been able to find out if any other paper has done so.

The statement was also put up in blogs. Many of you living overseas have asked if we want you to undertake further mobilisation around this statement among the Bangladeshi diaspora in Europe and in the US. We are anxious about the directions the situation is taking. What appeared to be a mutiny over long harboured grievances may actually have been the product of other intrigues. The brutality inflicted upon
army officers in BDR and the desecration of their bodies is unimaginably horrific. As more information comes to light, it appears that a complex web of intentions and interests may be at play. We are deeply concerned that the issue of human rights may be sidelined, and therefore we think we should all keep a careful watch on whether judicial norms and human rights standards are upheld, throughout the investigation, and the trials of all those accused. As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had said in her speech “vengeance will only lead to more harm.”

We are also concerned at what seems to be a 180 degree swing in media reporting, especially the electronic media. Much as we are deeply shocked and horrified at the brutality that has occurred (scores of army officers are still missing), we also think that in trying times such as these, the interests of strengthening democratic processes and institutions in Bangladesh state and society, must not be compromised. This will be for the country both for now, and for future. A 180 degree swing does not bespeak of a balanced media, an independent media now, is more urgent than ever.

We are deeply worried that the patience, perseverance and determination required for unearthing the entire gambit of motivations and players may not be forthcoming.

Shireen and Rahnuma

28th February 2009

More mass graves are found inside the BDR Headquarter. The Military and Fire Service are searching for mass graves still today as lots of lost officers arenÕt found yet. Today, they recovered ten dead bodies including wife of Major General Shakil Ahmed who was killed in BDR rebellion. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 28 2009. © Adnan/DrikNews

More mass graves are found inside the BDR Headquarter. The Military and Fire Service are searching for mass graves still today as lots of lost officers not found yet. Today, they recovered ten dead bodies including wife of Major General Shakil Ahmed who was killed in BDR rebellion. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 28 2009. © Adnan/DrikNews

More mass graves are found inside the BDR Headquarter. The Military and Fire Service are searching for mass graves still today as lots of lost officers arenÕt found yet. Today, they recovered ten dead bodies including wife of Major General Shakil Ahmed who was killed in BDR rebellion. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 28 2009. Adnan/DrikNews

More mass grave in BDR Headquarter. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 28 2009. © Adnan/DrikNews

Army members are announcing the name of founded dead bodies of the BDR and army personals in BDR headquarters this evening. Till now there are total 67 dead bodies found from the BDR headquarters and outside areas. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009

Army members are announcing the name of bodies of the BDR and army personals in BDR headquarters this evening. Till now there are total 67 dead bodies found from the BDR headquarters and outside areas. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009. Noor Alam/DrikNews

Family members are trying to identify the dead bodies of BDR and army personals in Dhaka medical Mortuary this evening. Till now there are total 67 dead bodies found from the BDR headquarters and outside areas. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009

Family members are trying to identify the bodies of BDR and army personnel in Dhaka Medical College Mortuary this evening. Till now there are total 67 dead bodies found from the BDR headquarters and outside. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009. Noor Alam/DrikNews

BDR solders are locked inside the BDR headquarters bereq and hospital after they surrendered. Till now there are total 67 dead bodies found from the BDR headquarters and outside areas. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009

BDR solders locked inside the BDR headquarters barrack hospital after they surrendered. Till now 67 bodies found from the BDR headquarters and outside. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009. Noor Alam/DrikNews

The relatives of the lost army personals are waiting in front of BDR Headquarter. Still lots of military officers remain lost after the rebel BDRs took control the headquarter. The rebel BDRs surrendered yesterday evening and the relatives of the lost military personals gathered there to know what happened to the fate of lost military personals. Dhaka, Bangladesh. February 27 2009

The relatives of the lost army personals are waiting in front of BDR Headquarter. 27th February 2009. Dhaka, Bangladesh.Noor Alam/DrikNews

26th February 2009:

Am at Zia International Airport heading for Amsterdam. My main attackers here are the numerous mosquitoes that liven up the long wait at immigration. Will hopefully post more pictures when I arrive in Amsterdam. Made a small detour on the way to the airport. The soldiers at the junction of road 8A and 13A in Dhanmondi weren’t there this morning. However truckloads of soldiers and what looked like Ak Aks were positioned in Satmasjid Road nearer the BDR gate. The junction of rd 13A and rd 15 (old road 27) had RAB on standby. Further along rd 16 were more truckloads of army personnel (no heavy artillery this time). Things looked quiet. No further violence appears to have taken place. Surviving hostages are said to be OK. Their mobilephones have been taken away. Probably no further updates from me after this (I will try and post the pictures I took this morning if I can), until I return to Dhaka on 8th March.

With LOTS of help from Michel, am slowly migrating this blog to shahidulnews.com Most of the material is already up there. Wasn’t familiar enough with the new system to quickly blog last night, but it is a much more easily navigable site. See you at http://www.shahidulnews.com/.

Shahidul

25th February 2009

While the army have been removed from the main roads, barricades are still present at several key locations in Dhanmondi. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

While the army have been removed from the main roads, barricades are still present at several key locations in Dhanmondi. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are present in large numbers all over Dhanmondi. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are present in large numbers all over Dhanmondi. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Soldiers on Rd 13A. 11:30 pm. 25th February 2009. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Soldiers on Rd 13A. 11:30 pm. 25th February 2009. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Soldiers on road 13a Dhanmondi. 11:30 pm 25th February 2009. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Soldiers on road 13a Dhanmondi. 11:30 pm 25th February 2009. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Several truckloads of soldiers waiting on road 13A Dhanmondi. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Several truckloads of soldiers waiting on road 13A Dhanmondi. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

From: Shireen Huq <shireenhuq@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 4:35 PM
Subject: BDR Rebellion
To: banglavision@banglavision.tv

We are following the coverage of the BDR rebellion on the media and would like you to voice the concerns we have as ordinary citizens. Please find below a statement which expresses the sentiments of many, many people. I am sending this on behalf of Rahnuma Ahmed, a writer and myself, Shireen Huq an activist in the women’s movement.

“We, as the citizens of Bangladesh are extremely concerned at the
situation that has arisen today from members of the Bangladesh
Rifles (BDR) having expressed their grievances against structured
inequalities that they suffer vis a vis the Bangladesh army,
regarding pay, benefits, work-related risks etc. We have also heard
that they have expressed their dissatisfaction at army corruption, to
which they have been forced to be silent spectators.

We, as concerned citizens, welcome the declaration a short while ago
of a general amnesty by the Prime Minister, and demand that army
encirclement of the BDR camp be immediately withdrawn and that the
government should take immediate initiative to sit down and settle the
matter through peaceful means of negotiation, rather than treating it as a
law-and-order problem to be quelled forcefully.”

Rahnuma Ahmed (writer)
Shireen Huq (women’s rights activist)
Dr. Anu Mohammad (Professor of Economics)
Khushi Kabir (NGO leader)
Dr Firdous Azim (Professor of English Literature)
Dr Perween Hasan (Professor of Islamic History)
Dr Shahidul Alam (Photographer)
Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury (Health Activist)
Bashirul Haque (Architect)
Zakir Hossain (Nagorik Uddyog)
Golam Mostafa Nantu (businessman)

Two bodies lie on road 3A. Sniper fire prevented the bodies from being removed. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Two bodies lie on road 3A. Sniper fire prevented the bodies from being removed. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

BDR Sniper. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

BDR Sniper. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

BDR sniper. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

BDR sniper. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Minister and police trying to mediate. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Minister and police trying to mediate. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Photos earlier in the day by Jessica Lim:

Outspoken Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga assassinated

Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle as he drove to work this morning in Colombo.

“Sri Lanka has lost one of its more talented, courageous and iconoclastic journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his associates and the government media are directly to blame because they incited hatred against him and allowed an outrageous level of impunity to develop as regards violence against the press. Sri Lanka’s image is badly sullied by this murder, which is an absolute scandal and must not go unpunished.”

The press freedom organisation added: “The military victories in the north against the Tamil Tigers rebels must not be seen as a green light for death squads to sow terror among government critics, including outspoken journalists. The international community must do everything possible to halt such a political vendetta.”

President Rajapaksa called Wickrematunga a “terrorist journalist” during an interview with a Reporters Without Borders representative in Colombo, last October.

This morning’s attack on Wickrematunga occurred in rush-hour traffic about 100 metres from an air force checkpoint near one of the capital’s airports. The two assailants smashed the window of his car with a steel bar before shooting him at close range in the head, chest and stomach. He was rushed to a Colombo hospital where he died a few hours later.

The Sunday Leader’s outspoken style and coverage of shady business deals meant that Wickrematunga was often the target of intimidation attempts and libel suits. The most recent lawsuit was brought by the president’s brother, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who got a court to ban the newspaper from mentioning him for several weeks.

Lasantha Wickrematunga, who was also a lawyer, told Reporters Without Borders in an interview that his aim as a journalist was to “denounce the greed and lies of the powerful.” His newspaper specialised in sensational investigative reporting of corruption and abuse of authority in Sri Lanka.

The printing press of the Sunday Leader media group (Leader Publications), which is located in a high security area near Colombo, was destroyed in an arson attack by a group of gunmen in November 2007. Wickrematunga told Reporters Without Borders at the time the attack was “a commando operation supported by the government.” The police did not carry out a proper investigation.

Sri Lanka was ranked 165th out of 173 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2008 press freedom index. This was the lowest ranking of any democratic country. Two journalists were killed in Sri Lanka in 2008 and two others, J. S. Tissanayagam and Vettivel Jasikaran, are currently in prison.

Urgent, just reported: Al-Zaidi in U.S. run Camp Cropper prison

Iraqi TV al-Sharqiya just reported on the news that AL-Zaidi is transferred to Camp Cropper prison [the Airport prison, managed by the American forces].

The TV Channel announced that Al-Zaidi is in a difficult condition, with broken ribs and signs of tortures on his thighs. Also he cannot move his right arm.

NYT- While he has not been formally charged, Iraqi officials said he faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of committing an act of aggression against a visiting head of state.

The incident has been a source of embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who, in a statement on Monday, called the shoe throwing a “a shameful savage act” and demanded a public apology from Al-Baghdadia. (Via TenPercent blog)

ALL HAIL THE SHOE THROWER

George Bush was befuddled by the use of shoes as a symbol of protest, which just shows how much he doesn’t know about the culture of Iraq and how much he forgot about how the Iraqis he hailed, and probably paid in the aftermath of the invasion, hammered at Saddam’s statue with their shoes.

Not surprisingly, the Bush backers at the NY Post described the incident as the work of a “crazy Iraqi.“ It is impossible for them to conceive why anyone would resist the US occupation or protest it this way. Thus, they have to be “crazy” or a “terrorist,” or both.

Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi has become a hero throughout the Middle East and the world.Across Mideast, Arabs Hail Shoe-Hurling Journalist

Baghdad – Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets Monday to demand the release of a reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush, as Arabs across many parts of the Middle East hailed the journalist as a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president.

The protests came as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted Iraqi police, U.S.-allied Sunni guards and civilians in a series of attacks Monday that killed at least 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said.

Journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security Monday and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to throw his shoes at Bush during a press conference the previous day in Baghdad, said an Iraqi official.

HIS TV STATION DEMANDS HIS RELEASEIraq TV Demands Release of Bush Shoe Attacker

Baghdad – An Iraqi television station on Monday demanded the immediate release of one of its journalists who caused a furor when he hurled shoes at visiting US President George W. Bush. Muntazer al-Zaidi jumped up as Bush was holding a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday, shouted “It is the farewell kiss, you dog” and threw two shoes at the US leader.

Bush ducked and the first shoe hit the American and Iraqi flags behind the two leaders, while the second was off target. Zaidi, a reporter with the Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, was immediately wrestled to the ground by security guards and frog marched from the room.

“Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntadhar al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people,” it said in a statement.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for the television channel, described Zaidi as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

“We fear for his safety,” he added.

IAN WILLIAMS: BOOT BUSH

One Iraqi journalist shows more willingness to stand up to President Bush than the entire White House press corp

News organisations have to feign surprise to make news. In reality, it is of course no surprise that Bush would be greeted in Baghdad with all the warmth and approbation of fraudster Bernie Madoff dropping by the Palm Beach Country Club, nor that Iraq’s physical infrastructure, $69bn later, is still in a worse state than before 2003.

In Arab culture, dogs and the soles of shoes are two very potent demonstrations of detestation and the intemperate. Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi’s lobbing of two well-aimed shoes at the president is a belated make-up for all the softballs thrown at him in Washington.

Zeidi has clearly epitomised Iraqi feelings across the board, with protests on the streets and support messages from Arab journalists. Ironically, many of them, including Zeidi’s own TV station, are comparing his arrest with the brisk way that the Baathists had with dissent. This is a little unfair – he is still alive as far as we know, which is more than could be said for anyone who would have done that to Saddam.

RADIO NETHERLANDS: TALK OF THE TOWN

The Iraqi journalist who threw a pair of shoes at US President George W Bush on Sunday, is the talk of the town in Iraq and other Arab countries. The video footage of Muntaze al-Zaidi throwing the shoes and calling the president a dog has been watched over and over again.

The Iraqi authorities arrested Mr Zaidi immediately and charged him with carrying out a barbaric act and insulting the Iraqi state. The small TV station the journalist works for has demanded his release and warns that any penalty against him would be dictatorial. Several lawyers, including American ones have offered to defend him. Saddam Hussein’s lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi is putting together a legal team.

In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a huge insult. The journalist’s colleagues say if he had had the opportunity, he would have thrown shoes at Mr Bush earlier.

MSNBC: WILL THEY RELEASE HIM OR TRY HIM?

Al-Baghdadia repeatedly aired pleas to release al-Zeidi on Monday, while showing footage of explosions and playing background music that denounced the U.S. in Iraq.

“We have all been mobilized to work on releasing him, and all the organizations around the world are with us,” said Abdel-Hameed al-Sayeh, the manager of Al-Baghdadia in Cairo, where the station is based. “This
whole thing is putting the Iraqis and the Americans to a test. Are they going to release him or try him?”

Called a ‘hero’
 – Al-Jazeera television interviewed Saddam Hussein’s chief lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi, who offered to defend al-Zeidi, calling him a “hero.”

CALL TO ACTION: SHOES PROTEST IN WASHINGTON

SHOES FOR BUSH: This Wednesday ~ 12/17 ~ 11 AM ~ at the White House

Please join Code Pink: Women for Peace, AfterDowningStreet.com, and Democrats.com this Wednesday, December 17, 2008, in Washington, D.C., at Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House.

We will have with us a large supply of shoes labeled with the names of Iraqis who have died in Bush’s war. We encourage you to bring your old shoes as well. Come rally with us in solidarity with the Iraqi people to demand an immediate and complete end to the occupation of Iraq.

Read press advisory from Code Pink

Watch and discuss video of Iraqi journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi throwing shoes at Bush.

Watch video of Bush saying that throwing shoes is a sign of a free society:

Read about Iraqi rally for Al-Zaydi.

Source: News Dissector Blog

Inquiry into Nurul Islam’s death demanded

Editorial: New Age 6th December 2008

At a time when clean politics and honest and dedicated politicians are so hard to come by, the nation can ill-afford to lose a leader like Nurul Islam, the president of Ganotontri Party and a widely respected leftist and trade union figure. Nurul Islam after battling with his severe burn injuries for nearly 40 hours has succumbed. His son Tamohar had died immediately after the outbreak of fire. According to media reports, the mysterious fire broke out in his rented Lalmatia flat in the early hours of Wednesday.

Death of a senior respected politician is mournful in itself, and s of cdoubly so when the death is unnatural, amid circumstances which are suspect in the eyes of a wide segment of the public. In the hospital before losing consciousness Nurul Islam told the press that he had been receiving threats from fundamentalists over telephone after filing his nomination, as reported in Wednesday’s New Age. The Workers Party leader Rashed Khan Menon also has corroborated that Nurul Islam was receiving death threats. Family members of the deceased and fellow politicians of the Awami League-led alliance have alleged that Nurul Islam with his son was killed by design. The police and fire service people have their ready answer, without, we suppose, adequate investigation – the fire broke out accidentally.

Whether the cause was accident or sabotage, it is for the government to unearth but it must be thoroughly unearthed because the tragedy has not only spread sadness but also a high degree of unease among the people. The timing of the tragedy, just after his submission of nomination, as a candidate of the AL-led alliance, also points to various speculations. We have neither the intention nor the ability to foreclose the finding but we would want everyone to be on guard against any hush-hush operation. Accidents can indeed happen and accidents can also ‘be made to happen’. We cannot divine what is the truth.

A neighbour on the top-floor flat heard two loud bangs. Is this evidence compatible with the short circuit theory? We would request the government that a high-powered probe committee consisting of eminent experts as well as highly esteemed non-controversial citizens with the appropriate terms of reference be set up in order to get at the bottom of the truth. Services of leading forensic experts should be enlisted. It may be argued, however, what further investigation should the government make after two government agencies have already pronounced that the deaths were due to accident. But we think what the police and the fire service said were but a knee-jerk reaction of government officials we often encounter in such tragedies. These officials think it safe to point to a cause which will not require further explaining, but investigation by a committee is something else.

Finally, we express our sincerest condolences to the deceased’s wife Ruby Rahman who is an avant garde poet and sntellectual in her own right. We can imagine her pains at losing both her husband and her only son in a single tragedy and hope she will bear her loss with courage and fortitude.

Mumbai Attacks

Unusual snterview, on CNN, with the materialistic “guru” and physician, Deepak Chopra, regarding the recent horror in Mumbai (Bombay). Source: Sunil Janah

Video CNN – Deepak Chopra on Mumbai Attacks

Attack on Balaka Sculpture

K M Asad/DrikNEWS

© K M Asad/DrikNEWS

K M Asad

© K M Asad/DrikNEWS

© K M Asad/DrikNEWS

© K M Asad/DrikNEWS

Al Bayenat activists claim the attack on the Balaka sculpture in front of the Biman office in the city’s Motijheel commercial area on Saturday night. bdnews24.com/ Dhaka, November 29, 2008

Explain suspension of rights: HC to govt

Mon, Nov 24th, 2008 4:28 pm BdST

Dhaka, Nov 24 (bdnews24.com) – The High Court on Monday asked the government to explain in four weeks why constitutional amendments allowing suspension of people’s fundamental rights during emergency rule should not be declared void.

The bench of justices Syed Mahmud Hossain and Quamrul Islam Siddiqui passed the order on a writ petition filed by journalists M Asafuddowla, Nurul Kabir and Amir Khasru, and anthropologist Rahnuma Ahmed.

The court also asked the government to explain why the president’s order of the proclamation of emergency and suspension of fundamental rights should not be declared unconstitutional.

Barrister Mayeen Firozee moved the petition while deputy attorney general Razik-al-Jalil was present during the hearing.

Barrister Firozee submitted that articles 26(3), 141B, 141C and 142 (2) were inserted through the Constitution (Second Amendment) Act 1973 for the obvious purpose of curtailment of the fundamental rights of citizens.

He said, “Fundamental rights are a provision of the Constitution.”

Barrister Firozee contended that through the second amendment, therefore, the harmony of the Constitution had been destroyed.

He further argued, “The president invoking his power under article 141C issued a proclamation of emergency on January 11 (2007), and issued two emergency powers orders suspending fundamental rights.”

Barrister Firozee continued, “Curtailing the right to move before the High Court for enforcement of fundamental rights, the independence of judiciary has also been curtailed.”

HC asked the law secretary, the president’s secretary and home secretary to reply the rule.

bdnews24.com/at/tf/1531hr

—————————–

Fire in Hazaribag slum

© Munir uz Zaman, DrikNEWS.

Large fire caught in a slum known as sweeper colony in Hazaribag caused more than 100 houses burnt down. Fire fighters rushed to the place in time and brought the fire down before it cause any casualties and huge lose of properties. Dhaka, Bangladesh. November 21 2008.

Kofi Annan announces award for Prix Pictet. Bangladeshi photographer Munem Wasif receives commission.

Munem Wasif is commissioned to record WaterAid’s Chittagong Hill Tracts Project – 31/10/2008

Ivan Pictet, speaking at the award ceremony, announced that Munem Wasif, one of the photographers shortlisted for the Prix Pictet, will be awarded the commission to document WaterAid’s Chittagong Hill Tracts Project in Bangladesh which is supported by Pictet & Cie. The main award which includes a €50,000 cash prize was given to photographer Benoit Aquin. He was handed out the prize by former United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan at the high-profile ceremony in Paris.
The partners of Pictet & Cie have agreed to commission Munem Wasif to record the evolution of WaterAid’s project that aims to bring clean tap water to village communities in Bangladesh. Wasif’s photographs will be used to illustrate how important such projects are, especially to countries such as Bangladesh where over 65 million of a population of 140 million have no access to sanitation.

Wasif graduated from Pathshala, The South Asian Institute of Photography and is a contributor to DrikNEWS

prix-pictet-to-fund-wateraid-project-2

————————————————————————————

final-days-in-the-vann

16th September 2008 18:22 Colombo time:

thanks guys for all your support. today we made it across. it was an intense drive through 3 air attacks, shelling in the distance and driving through a freshly hit target with trees still on fire. but i am now safe (if emotional and exhausted) in Vav in the north. i will go to colombo tomorrow morning and then fly to london on sunday for some of mums cooking and a long sleep and maybe go and find a good counselor!!!

thnaks again and much love. i will write more tomorrow when i get my head together. for now i go and sleep.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7618016.stm

——————————————————

16th September 2008 17:30 Colombo time:

All UN staff have safely moved to the town of Vavuniya.
Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful bomb inside a public bus in Colombo today.
Four people were slightly hurt in the bombing and casualties were low because passengers had spotted a suspicious parcel and evacuated shortly before the explosion, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told AFP.
The force of the explosion shook buildings in the city centre, where security is tight because of fears of attacks by the LTTE.

—————————————————————————————-

16th September 2008 01:30 Colombo time:

UN Staff trapped in Kilinocchi

Subject: !!! URGENT !!!

i am really sorry for what i am going to write here and i know you will freak out (as i kind of am!!) but this is super urgent. i have writtent o the contacts you sent me before and to the BBC in Colombo but the turn of events here is quick and i need you to do all you can to get the following out to the world quickly.

Shahidul any help media that you can pass this to ASAP is much appreciated.

I am sending this as im a little desperate but also as i believe this to be a big story. 10 UN internationals including myself have been trying to get out of the LTTE held territories since Friday last week. Due to rapid escalation of the security in the region and protests outside our offices to leave for the fears of the community that when we leave there will be an onslaught of the Sri Lankan army. we now feel that if we do not leave tomorrow Tuesday 16th it maybe too late and we will be trapped in here until the battle for Kilinocchi (LTTE capital) is finished.

the below statement was released to the media today by the UN in Colombo. basically the situation is that it is getting way too close here now. Both Waring parties have assured our safety in leaving but the conflict is now very close on the A9 road, the only way out of here.

we want to get all assurances from both sides that it will be a safe passage as stated by both parties.

this must be a story for the web site. please put it up there. we will be leaving Kilinochchi at 10am on tuesday 16th September and plan to make it to Omanthai (Gov held area) by 11:30 latest. a UN convoy of Approx 20 vehicles

At present there are multi barrel rocket launcers and artillery landing just 3 km from our UN compound and Helicopter gun ships were clearing the A9 road today for LTTE cadre bunkers.

i need to have some of the world watchin this to give pressure on both sides to respect thier assurances of a safe passage. any media coverage that you can give will be a great help. below is the statement.

please do what you can.

dixie

This has been released tonight by the UN in Colombo.

Statement
The UN has received assurances from the LTTE that UN and humanitarian agency staff remaining in Kilinochchi can leave. We intend moving those staff in a single convoy at 10am tomorrow Tuesday 16th morning. We expect that all staff and this convoy will be given safe passage by the LTTE to the Omanthai crossing. We reiterate that we have been compelled to temporarily relocate from Kilinochchi because of our security assessment that the situation has become too dangerous to remain working from there at this time. Because of our continuing commitment to and concern for the civilians of the Vanni, senior staff are in place to mount our humanitarian operation from Vavuniya.

23 Comments »

  1. [...] Breaking News [...]

    Pingback by Breaking News. UN Staff Trapped in Kilinocchi « ShahidulNews | September 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. exclent/keep up with truths in every day,year & centuary…..

    Comment by selvaraj | November 21, 2008 | Reply

  3. [...] Breaking News [...]

    Pingback by Lucifer in Mumbai « ShahidulNews | November 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. George W.’s reaction to the shoe thrower and the monument: ” I just don’t know what the big problem is… “

    Comment by coffee | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  5. [...] Shahidul Alam has uploaded his photos 11:30 Nurul Kabir on Channel 1 discussing mutiny. Describes both government negotiators as taking [...]

    Pingback by Unheard Voice » BREAKING: BDR Mutiny | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  6. I don’t know how much price we the general people will have to pay just because our politicians are ever blind. Its reckless. There is no point to justify a rebellious act which takes away lives of citizens of a democratic!! country. Would not we be blamed for the same blindness as our politicians if we don’t look at the other side of the coins? I guess, the will of rebel is stronger than it has been committed and I am expecting a so called investigation to corruption by some corrupter.

    Comment by Roman | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  7. [...] Shahidul Alam has posted some photos from the ground and unbelievable [...]

    Pingback by BDR Revolt Updates « E-Bangladesh | February 25, 2009 | Reply

  8. We hear the sounds of the silence.It is obviously from the <<ShahidulNews news blog.It is great!I would like to congrat all of our contributers to this blog.
    Keep going!!

    Monjur

    Comment by Md.Monjur-e-Khoda Tarafdar | February 26, 2009 | Reply

  9. [...] Videos and stills as well as message from Shireen and Rahnuma at: http://shahidul.wordpress.com/breaking-news/ [...]

    Pingback by ROCKING Time in BED ROOM and TURMOIL in the BLEEDING DIVIDED GEOPOLITICS « Palashbiswaskl’s Weblog | February 26, 2009 | Reply

  10. [...] Alam posted several videos from on the ground, including this footage of [...]

    Pingback by Bangladesh revolt ends after deadly soldier mutiny | Worldfocus | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  11. Dear Shahid Bhai.
    Thank you for updating BDR mutiny.
    I saw through your news& photos.

    kazi hasan sarwar.
    (free lance photographer)
    Toronto.

    Comment by Kazi Hasan Sarwar | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  12. The actrocities of BDR soldiers is beyon all and cant be tolerated. we have not seen those killing at 71 war even, nor our so called Rajakar did those type of masacare. Our request to military and political govt to take action on those soldiers and please set an example and punish them in fron of all. How they could kill so many military officers ? They are our blood, they are our son, protecting our land. How those un-educated soldiers can rape and later kill those lady wife and kids. Its a total rubbish and in-human.
    We are the people of Bangladeshi are shocked and requesting an urgent action against those culpits and soldiers.

    Rafiq
    Dhanmondi
    Dhaka

    Comment by Rafiq | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  13. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    _________________________________
    Making Money $150 An Hour

    Comment by Mike | March 1, 2009 | Reply

  14. [...] Breaking News [...]

    Pingback by Horror and grief: a nation besieged « ShahidulNews | March 6, 2009 | Reply

  15. Painful pictures.

    Comment by nitin sonawane | March 7, 2009 | Reply

  16. very informative and pictures could be a good avidence for future.

    Comment by shaila hashemee | March 9, 2009 | Reply

  17. [...] Video CNN – Deepak Chopra on Mumbai Attacks [...]

    Pingback by Lucifer in Mumbai | ShahidulNews | March 19, 2009 | Reply

  18. video dekhano uchit chilo

    Comment by asif1995 | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  19. untouchable indians. who care about you?

    Comment by jsfk owier | July 25, 2009 | Reply

  20. The actrocities of BDR soldiers is beyon all and cant be tolerated. we have not seen those killing at 71 war even, nor our so called Rajakar did those type of masacare. Our request to military and political govt to take action on those soldiers and please set an example and punish them in fron of all. How they could kill so many military officers ? They are our blood, they are our son, protecting our land. How those un-educated soldiers can rape and later kill those lady wife and kids. Its a total rubbish and in-human.We are the people of Bangladeshi are shocked and requesting an urgent action against those culpits and soldiers.
    +1

    Comment by Sporter | May 9, 2010 | Reply

  21. This is some great photojournalism photograhpy.

    Comment by Carl Hahn | December 12, 2010 | Reply

  22. http://jugantor.us/enews/issue/2011/07/15/news0889.htm

    Comment by usama | December 15, 2011 | Reply

  23. [...] তার ছোট্ট শিশুটিকে আদর করে দিতে (সূত্র) – দুই বাবার এই দুই রকম ছবি আমাকে [...]

    Pingback by শক্তিশালী সব ছবিগুলো – ১ | Born Elegant's Blog | May 27, 2012 | Reply


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