Women’s rights campaigners Diana Nammi of Iranian Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, Maryam Namazie of One Law for All, Pragna Patel of Southall Black Sisters, Gita Sahgal and Yasmin Rehman of Centre for Secular Space, Nasreen Rehman of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, and Rumana Hashem of Nari Diganta called to dismantle parallel legal systems and called for one law for All on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2015.
The campaigners handed in a statement signed by nearly 400 individuals and groups to 10 Downing Street calling for the dismantling of parallel legal systems, including sharia “courts” and Beth Dins.
The statement can be found here: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/10dec/.
In the evening of 14 April, during the celebration of Bangla New Year 1422, called Pohel Boishak, 20 young Bangali girls and women were attacked by a group of rapists who took possessions of women’s bodies by forcing them to be naked and lied down on the ground while rapists played with their bodies at the premise of the country’s largest public University in the capital city of Dhaka. While the act of violence against these women was just less what we call rape in the West, the ferocity of the sexual assault was beyond account. The outrageous act of sexual harassment of young women in public went on for about two hours, near the gate of Teachers and Students’ Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University and the Suhrawardy Udyan (the historical Suhrawardy Garden), known as a premise of the country’s progressive people. During the vicious incidence, a group of progressive students belonging to a left political student’s organisation, called the Bangladesh Students Union (BSU), had protested the incident and tried to stop the rapists. As an end result, they were badly beaten up and threatened to be killed by the rapists. The rapists broke an arm of one protester, Liton Nandi, a leading activist and key organiser of the Bangladesh Student’s Union.This outrageous occurrence is unacceptable.
Bangladeshi police and campus security guards were present in the premise during the atrocities. They have witnessed everything throughout the dramatic sexualised event. Police failed the nation and did not play the role of state security personnel. They played extremely controversial role by keeping silent and by watching the incidence as armless staff of the state. By keeping silence and acting as statues, cop gave shelter to the rapists. Further, the University administration and local government denied their responsibilities to prevent these appalling sexualised violence happen in the premise of Dhaka University. The Proctor of the University has made controversial statements and denied to have evidence of sexual assaults of women within the Dhaka University’s premise whereas CCTV footage shows there is plenty of evidence and it is quite possible to identify the perpetrators.
Women’s right campaigners, Bangladesh Students Union and many progressive people back home have demanded apposite punishment of the perpetrators in week-long protests. In response to the protest and nation-wide condemnation by women’s rights campaigners, the Bangladesh High Court has ruled the case as sexualised violence against women. But the government of Bangladesh has failed to take any action to apprehend the perpetrators as yet.
At this juncture, Nari Diganta joins hand with Jubo Union, UK, a branch of Bangladesh Student’s Union, and we are co-organising a protest event to be held at 5:30pm on Tuesday, 21 April at Altab-Ali Park, Tower Hamlets, London.
Please join us in the protest with your friends. Tell Bangladesh government to take action against the rapists. The perpetrators must be apprehended.
Please check out the facebook event page and indicate your joining here https://www.facebook.com/events/35772565
British Muslim women and Bengali women’s rights campaigners are discussing the bigotry of Sharia law on ATN Bangla TV. They challenged the Law Society that there is no relevance of any staff training programme on Sharia’ in the UK. This Live talk show was broadcast by ATN Bangla TV on 17 October 2014 . Discussants include minority women’s rights activists and ex-members of Nari Diganta namely Doly Islam, Advocate Sultana Kamal, Dr Rumana Hashem and Piya Mayenin.
Just after a month, on 24 November 2016, the Law Society has withdrawn their sharia wills practice note, marking victory of the core coalition of secular women’s rights campaigners who welcome withdrawal of the Law Society’s timely decision. Further details here: https://communitywomenblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/press-release-womens-rights-campaigners-welcome-withdrawal-of-the-law-societys-sharia-wills-practice-note/
Watch how Sharia law operates in Britain and how the UK govt keeps quite on this issue, letting the fundamentalists go