Bangladesh journalist tells of torture

Feb. 14, 2008 at 1:00 PM
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DHAKA, Bangladesh, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The reported arrest and torture of a Bangladeshi journalist by his country's military intelligence was highlighted Thursday in a Human Rights Watch report.

The 39-page study tells of Tasneem Khalil, a journalist for the English-language Daily Star, part-time consultant for Human Rights Watch and a news representative for CNN, and his reported 22-hour abusive ordeal carried out under the country's state of emergency and the interim government's failure to restrain security forces.

Khalil told of being seized by a group of men at his apartment in Dhaka one night in May 2007 as his wife and baby watched. He said he was jailed, threatened with execution and repeatedly kicked and beaten.

Human Rights Watch said he was punished for his criticism of the security forces' role in extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and other abuses.

After his release and a month in hiding, Khalil fled Bangladesh for safety in Sweden, which granted asylum to him and his family.

The Human Rights Watch report called on the Bangladeshi government to urgently tackle the endemic problem of torture.

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