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Concern over missing Islamic preacher in Bangladesh

Rights groups call on authorities to investigate the disappearance of Md. Afsanaul Adnan and three friends

UCA News reporter, Dhaka

UCA News reporter, Dhaka

Published: June 15, 2021 10:13 AM GMT

Updated: June 15, 2021 10:24 AM GMT

Concern over missing Islamic preacher in Bangladesh

Md. Afsanaul Adnan, a popular Islamic preacher, has gone missing with three companions. (Photo: YouTube)

A popular Islamic preacher and three friends have gone missing in Bangladesh.

Md. Afsanaul Adnan, 31, and three companions have not been seen since June 10, according to the preacher’s family.

Local and international human rights organizations are calling on authorities to expeditiously and fairly investigate to determine their whereabouts. If they are in state custody, they must be released immediately, said Amnesty Asia in a tweet on June 14.

Adnan’s family claims that the four have been missing since the preacher left his home district of Rangpur for Dhaka on June 10.

Adnan's wife Sabekun Nahar claims no police station will file the case.

"Where will I file a case? To whom will I file a complaint? I am getting tired of walking around the police stations. No police station is taking responsibility,” Nahar told UCA News.

Tomorrow I too may be a victim of disappearance

The issue is a hot topic on social media in Bangladesh.

Nurul Haque Nur, a young politician and activist, claimed on Facebook that law enforcement must know where Adnan is.

“The government is not paying any attention to our Facebook post or protest. The government is suppressing dissent and making many disappear in order to mature its one-party system of government,” Nur said in a video.

Father Anthony Sen, secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of Dinajpur Diocese, said he was “horrified” to see the reports of human rights organizations.

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“Tomorrow I too may be a victim of disappearance,” he told UCA News.

“According to the past record of the government in Bangladesh, everyone thinks that Adnan has been taken away by government forces. If that didn’t happen, then the government has to prove it. It cannot happen in a democracy where people who don't like it [the government] or people who disagree will disappear.”

Odhikar, the country's leading human rights organization, estimates that 4,002 people were victims of extrajudicial killings by law enforcement from 2001 to June 2020. Of these, more than half were killed by the police and 1,224 by the Rapid Action Battalion elite police force.

Ain O Salish Kendra (Law and Arbitration Center) alleged that there were 30 extrajudicial killings and three enforced disappearances in the first five months of 2021.

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