Monday, February 4, 2008

Mehedi Hasan Released

Read this e-mail notification by WRC:
Subject: Mehedi Hasan Released by Bangladesh Government

Dear Colleagues,

I am very happy to report that Mehedi Hasan was released on Sunday afternoon, Dhaka time. We have confirmed it directly with Mehedi himself. We also understand that the pending charges against him have been dropped; this is what the police have told Mehedi’s lawyer. Documents confirming this have not yet been received, however. We hope to know more soon about the government’s official position on the case and their intentions going forward. As you know, we have also been very concerned about how Mehedi was being treated in custody; we are awaiting information on this question.

We want to thank all of you for your efforts on this. Unquestionably, it was the pressure from foreign governments, buyers, and NGOS both in Bangladesh and around the world that secured Mehedi’s release. Your help is deeply appreciated.

As we know you are all aware, there are other labor rights advocates and worker leaders in Bangladesh who have been arrested and/or are facing unfair charges similar to those to which Mehedi was to be subjected. Police and judicial procedures under the state of emergency raise grave doubts about whether any of these cases will be adjudicated justly. There is also the ongoing problem of the government’s broader effort to repress labor rights advocacy and the exercise of associational rights by Bangadeshi workers. It is our hope that the energy mobilized on Mehedi’s behalf, which has been so effective in securing his release, can be maintained and directed toward the broader goal of protecting labor rights advocates and worker representatives throughout Bangladesh . We look forward to working with you toward that goal.

Please contact us if you have questions about this update. We will provide more information about the status of Mehedi’s case as we receive it.

Thank you again for your timely and effective action.


Scott Nova

Jeremy Blasi

Scott Nova

Worker Rights Consortium

5 Thomas Circle, NW

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 387-4884

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