Adilur Rahman KhanCases
- Location of case in SG report
- Relevant SG report
- Year of the report
- From Country
- Country Geolocation
- Country Geolocation (linked Countries)
- South Asia
- UN body that raised the case prior to the SG report
- UN Special Procedures: Thematic
- Dates of prior UN action
- 14 March 2011
- Type of record
- Named individual
- Was the victim a foreign national?
- Was the victim a minor?
- Individual's/organization's activity
Secretary-Advocate Dhaka-based human rights organization Odhikar
- Type of rights defended
- Unclear in SG Report
- Was the victim a civil servant, member of the security forces or of the judiciary?
- Reported trigger of reprisal
Odhikar often works in close contact with the United Nations and other international human rights organizations and bodies. In 2008, Odhikar submitted information to OHCHR in the context of the universal periodic review of Bangladesh by the Human Rights Council, which took place in February 2009, and has since featured in several international human rights reports.
- Engagement with UN body
- UN Human Rights Council: UPR
- Dates of engagement
- 2008; 2009
- Type of attempted engagement
- Submission of information to UN
- Dates of mentioned reprisals
- 2008-2009; since October 2010
- Reprisal information
According to the information received, after the engagement with the universal periodic review process, Odhikar was threatened and harassed by Government officials of different levels, and authorities increased the monitoring of its activities
- Types of reprisals suffered
- Threats/Intimidations (incl. "fear of reprisal")
- Alleged/likely perpetrators
- State actors
- Was the reprisal based on new legislation?
- Does the report make general comment about country’s environment for engagement with UN?
- Government response content
At the time of completion of the report, the Government of Bangladesh had sent an acknowledgement of receipt of the communication sent by the special rapporteurs.
- Is the country cited for a "pattern of reprisal" in the context of this case?
- Is a pattern of reprisals mentioned otherwise in the context of this case?
- Does the report cite "self-censorship" as an issue in the context of this case?
- How many times has the case been followed up in subsequent SG reports?
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 0
- Follow up information provided in SG report 0
The case of human rights organization Odhikar and its Secretary Advocate, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, was included in the 2011 report of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/18/19 paras. 25–26). Odhikar regularly cooperates with the UN and submitted information for Bangladesh’s 2009 review by the UPR. Starting in 2010, the activities of Odhikar were reportedly increasingly monitored by the authorities and its staff were threatened and harassed by government officials. In 2014, Odhikar’s bank accounts were frozen by the NGO Affairs Bureau, and since then they have not been able to make bank transactions or receive any funds, severely limiting the organization’s capacity to operate. Odhikar has been the subject of 13 communications by special procedure mandate holders, a number of which have not been responded by the Government. In December 2018, mandate holders raised concerns at a reported smear campaign against Odhikar as well as harassment and acts of violence against its staff (BGD 10/2018). Odhikar has been accused of anti-state and anti-government activities and of tarnishing the country’s image by providing misinformation to the international community. Mr. Rahman Khan was also reportedly monitored and surveilled during and after his trip to Geneva in September 2018 to attend the Human Rights Council and related events. 12. On 5 July 2019, the Government responded, indicating that all NGOs that receive funding form outside the country are required to fulfill criteria established in national law, mainly the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Bill of 2016. If NGOs fail to comply with provisions in the law, they could be suspended. This applies to all NGOs in Bangladesh, including Odhikar.
- Followup Trends 0
- Deterioration/further reprisals
- Did the government respond? 0
- In which SG report was this case followed up on? 1
- Follow up information provided in SG report 1
The case of human rights organization Odhikar and its Secretary Advocate, Mr. Adilur Rahman Khan, was included in the 2011 (A/HRC/18/19 paras. 25–26) and 2019 (A/HRC/42/30, para. 40 and Annex II, paras. 11–12) reports of the Secretary-General on alleged accusations of anti-State and anti-Government activities following their engagement in the first cycle of the UPR of Bangladesh in 2009. Odhikar’s bank account was frozen under the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Bill of 2016. 9. It was reported to OHCHR that, as of May 2020, Odhikar’s bank accounts remain frozen, preventing the organization from making banking transactions or receiving any funds, therefore severely limiting its capacity to operate. Similarly, Odhikar’s application to the NGO Affairs Bureau for the renewal of its registration remains pending since 2014. On 13 May 2019, Odhikar filed a Writ Petition (no. 5402/2019) to the High Court Division of the Supreme Court, which called upon the NGO Affairs Bureau to explain the non-renewal of Odikhar’s registration from 2015 onwards, to which there has been no response.
- Followup Trends 1
- No substantive information provided by SG report
- Did the government respond? 1