31 May 2023, Wed, 10:41

Acting Ameer addresses the nation about the existing political situation

-Professor Mujibur Rahman

Amidst the current political situation, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Acting Ameer and former MP Professor Mujibur Rahman placed the following issues:

• To resolve the ongoing political stalemate, a fair, impartial, and inclusive election is to be held under the caretaker government
• All opposition leaders and activists including Jamaat Ameer should be released immediately
• Price hikes of the essentials must be curbed
• Jamaat’s central office and all other offices are to be opened shortly
• Torture and repression to be stopped
• Rights to hold rallies and processions to be ensured
• Digital Security Act to be annulled

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Acting Ameer and former MP Professor Mujibur Rahman addressed the nation on 31st May describing the overall situation of the country. Among others, Jamaat’s central executive committee member and Media department’s secretary Matiur Rahman Akanda, central executive committee member and Dhaka south city Ameer Nurul Islam Bulbul and central working committee member and Dhaka north city’s Acting Ameer Abdur Rahman Musa were present on the occasion.
The detail of Professor Mujibur Rahman’s speech is given below:

Dear countrymen,
We are here amid a critical political situation. As you all know, the next parliamentary election is set to be held in December 2023 or January 2024. People of all walks including political parties, journalists, authors, intellectuals, academicians, and others have been continuing the movement to restore the caretaker government system in order to hold a free, fair, and credible election. But so far, instead of fulfilling the public demands, the government is repressing, intimidating, and imprisoning the dissidents as a part of their conspiracy to hold a unilateral election once again.

To facilitate a safe exit for the military-backed caretaker regime in 2008, Awami League made a secret understanding with them and ultimately grabbed the office. Subsequently, they annulled the caretaker system. A farcical election was held in 2014. In that election, in 154 constituencies, there was no candidate except the ruling party Awami League. Even the Prime Minister termed the election as an election of formality and another acceptable election is to be held shortly. But she did not keep her promise.

Then they vowed to make the 2018 election participatory. But by casting votes at night even a day before the polling date and by dint of massive rigging, victories were made sure for the Awami League candidates. This election became branded as a midnight election. Practically, elections can never be fair under Awami League regime. In the last 15 years of tenure, the incumbent authoritarian government has destroyed the total electoral procedures. There is no professionalism within the administration. The entire administration has been politicized and they are also harassing the opposition severely. Party cadres have been given appointments in sensitive positions which has paved the way for subduing the opposition more.

Dear citizens with good conscience,
Awami League in the last 15 years completely destroyed the electoral environment. They have seized public rights away. State-sponsored mayhem has been orchestrated to root out Jamaat-e-Islami. In the last 15 years, 246 leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami have been murdered, 86 opposition men became the victims of crossfire, 91,246 Jamaat-Shibir activists have been arrested, 1087 female activists of Jamaat-e-Islami were also detained. 17,463 activists of Islami Chhatrashibir have been arrested as well. The government so far, lodged 14,309 cases against Jamaat-e-Islami and 9,584 cases against Chhatrashibir. 75,035 leaders and activists have been injured by the attacks of law enforcers. 96,093 people were taken into police remand. 25 Jamaat-Shibir leaders have been abducted. Awami League cadres and law enforcers have attacked, vandalized, and set fire to more than 5 thousand houses. The last 15 years of Awami League tenure is the worst example of systematic persecution against Jamaat-e-Islami. But despite such oppression and torture, Jamaat-e-Islami continued their organizational activities in a systematic, democratic, and peaceful way and played effective roles to ensure the overall development of the country.

This government does not believe in the freedom of speech. The constitution of Bangladesh guaranteed the right to free movement, freedom of speech, and the right to hold peaceful rallies and processions. It is the obligation of the law enforcement entities to ensure the implementation of constitutionally guaranteed rights. The constitution is the highest law of the country. As the constitution approves meetings and processions so no one has the right to interfere with these rights. But nobody is allowed to take to the street in the last 15 years. When an opposition party attempts to seek permission from the law enforcers, they are harassed. Jamaat-e-Islami sent a letter to the DMP police commissioner on 28th May online. On the following day, on 29th May 4 lawyers physically went to the DMP office on behalf of Jamaat-e-Islami seeking help to hold a rally on 5th June for restoring the caretaker government system, release of the detained leaders and curb the price hike of the essentials. But these lawyers from the gate of the DMP office. This incident will be regarded as a stigma and the worst example in the history of Bangladesh.

Dear countrymen,
Whenever meetings or rallies are arranged, police open fire or charged batons and carried a massive arrest drive. Jamaat’s central offices and other city and district-level offices have been forcefully closed. Digital Security Act has been enacted to subdue the freedom of speech and simultaneously repression is being carried out against the journalist communities. Under the current regime, lots of media houses including Islamic TV, Diganta TV, Channel One, Daily Amar Desh, Daily Dinkal, and many other print media, and online portals have been shut down. Journalists have been murdered in a pre-planned way and their trials remain unattended. The deadline for submitting the investigation report in journalist couple Sagar-Runi has been deferred 98 times so far.

People cannot cast their votes for the last 15 years. The attitudes of the government indicate that no one can do politics, take part in elections, or can hold rallies. Even no one will be allowed to speak up against injustice. The government actually turn Bangladesh into a country without democracy and human rights. The countrymen are eagerly waiting for the 12th Nationalelection as they are adamant to oust this government in a systematic way in order to bring their preferable government. But the government is hatching a conspiracy to hold another farcical election like 2014 and 2018 in order to come back to office.

Actually, the government has destroyed democracy, human rights, and the electoral system. Bangladesh in recent times has become the victim of the repressive visa policy of the US government because of the Awami League government’s sheer failures and human rights violations. To be more specific, this stigma only belongs to Awami League. The leaders and activists of this party have committed all types of crimes including murder, abduction, kidnapping, rape, money laundering, smuggling, extortion, tender terrorism, and vote rigging. Subduing basic rights, the Awami League government has detained political leaders, religious scholars, and the people of other sections. Detainees are re-arrested from the jail gates multiple times. No one even the women and the children are not spared from the terrorism of the law enforcers. Law enforcement entities have been forcefully made like a partisan forces. Universities, hospitals, and banks are captured by dint of power. Awami League earlier had set the worst example of brutalities by dancing upon the dead bodies. Awami League is fearful of the public and as such they do not have the courage to hold a fair election. This government has already become known to the world as a stigmatized government.

Fellow countrymen,
Bangladesh is a free, independent, and sovereign country. The democratic trend which has been established in this country is completely destroyed by Awami League. Awami League’s conspiracy with the next parliamentary election cannot be tolerated. The whole nation is united about the demand of restoring the caretaker government system. Overlooking the public demand, the Awami League government is verbally assuring to hold a fair election. But the people do not believe them anymore. They will not accept the blueprint design of Awami League to come back to the office. The countrymen still believe that Awami League would avoid the path of violence to arrange a fair and impartial election this time.

To rescue the nation from the tyranny of the Awami League and to ease the democratic trend, Jamaat-e-Islami has been playing its role actively. Under the current situation, our specific demands are as follows:

1. A fair, impartial, free, and inclusive election is to be held under the caretaker regime immediately.
2. Jamaat Ameer Dr. Shafiqur Rahman, Nayeb-e-Ameer and former MP Maulana ANM Shamsul Islam, Secretary General, and former MP Professor Mia Golam Porwar, Assistant Secretary General Maulana Rafiqul Islam Khan, central executive committee member and Dhaka North city Ameer Mohammad Selim Uddin, central Majlish-e-Shura member and former MP Shahjahan Chowdhury and all detained religious scholars should be released shortly.
3. The unjust and unlawful practice of re-arresting from the jail gate must be stopped. After securing bail from the High Court, it is the duty of the concerned authorities to take steps for their smooth release. But instead of doing that, harassing them in connection with new cases is clearly a violation of human rights and stern measures are to be taken against those who are involved with such malpractices.
4. Jamaat’s central, district, and city offices are to be opened soon.
5. Constitutionally guaranteed rights to hold rallies and processions must be ensured.
6. Former Brigadier General Abdullahil Aman Azmi, Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Ahmad Bin Quasem Arman, Hafez Zakir Hossain, Islami Chhatrashibir leader Al Muqaddas and Mohammad Wali Ullah and all other victims of enforced disappearances should be returned back to their families.
7. All false and fabricated cases are to be withdrawn.
8. The price hike of essentials must be checked and should be brought within the common’s reach.
9. All laundered money is to be brought back and stern measures must be taken against the persons, involved with money laundering issues.
10. All closed channels, national dailies, and online portals should be allowed to resume operations, and simultaneously crackdown against journalists must be stopped. Digital Security Act must be revoked.

He further said, Jamaat-e-Islami will continue to play an active role in resolving the prevailing political deadlock in coordination with the people. Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is with you and will be in the future, Insha Allah. May Allah help us all. Ameen.