Press release
Call on Government to act after abduction of prominent Bangladeshi environmentalist's husband

Friends of the Earth is today (Thursday 17 April 2014) calling for the UK Government to put urgent diplomatic pressure on to Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, to establish the whereabouts and well-being of Mr Abu Bakar Siddique, following his abduction on at 2.45pm on 16th April 2014. 

Mr Bakar Siddique is the husband of worldwide renowned environmental activist Advocate Rizwana Hasan. Friends of the Earth is concerned that Abu Bakar Siddique's abduction may be linked to the work of Rizwana Hasan and is greatly concerned for his safety.

Goldman Award winner Rizwana Hasan is the Director of BELA, which is the Friends of the Earth group in Bangladesh and a leading environmental campaigning body.  Rizwana and BELA have brought many legal cases against large companies that cause dangerous levels of pollution and environmental damage. 

Asad Rehman, International Climate Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said:

“The UK Government must use all its diplomatic tools to bring pressure on the Bangladesh Prime Minister – the Bangladesh Government must immediately locate Mr Abu Bakar Siddique as his life may be in danger.

“As it is suspected that Mr Bakar Siddique’s abduction is linked to BELA’s long history of work against dangerously polluting companies, it is vital that the Bangladesh Government acts quickly to investigate and secure his release.

“The UK has many long-standing links to Bangladesh, and there will be considerable concern within communities across the country about his disappearance.

“We are waiting to hear further news and our thoughts are with Rizwana Hasan and her family, and with Friends of the Earth Bangladesh.”

Those concerned by this incident, can write directly to the Bangladeshi Prime Minister via this petition, https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Prime_Minister_of_Bangladesh_Urgent_Action_on_abduction_of_Mr_Abu_Bakar_Siddique/share/?new

Notes to editor

1.The case has been reported in The Bangladesh Chronicle, http://www.bangladeshchronicle.net/index.php/2014/04/husband-abducted-for-me-rizwana/
2.The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), a non-profit and non-governmental organization of lawyers was set up in 1992 with the objective of establishing a sound environment and ecological order for all using law as tool. The formation of BELA was indeed a response to the global call for a movement to protect and conserve the natural environment and ecology that has strong justification in a rural agronomy based country like Bangladesh. For more information visit, http://www.belabangla.org/
3.Friends of the Earth International is the world's largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 74 diverse national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent.
4.For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. To find out more visit www.foe.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @wwwfoecouk.

 

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust