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Aug 23

Family Statement on the Arrest of Ex-Brigadier General Amaan Azmi

On Monday, 22nd August, at 8pm, more than thirty plainclothes men claiming to be from the Detective Branch of the Bangladesh Police stormed our family residence in the Moghbazar area of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, and seized our brother, Abdullahil Amaan Azmi.

No warrant was provided by the officers, and no cause of arrest was expressed. No official acknowledgement of his arrest has yet been made, without which there are credible fears for a possible extrajudicial abduction, the latest in a string of such abductions that have targeted family members of opposition leaders.

The officers cordoned off the whole street before breaking down the door and forcibly entering the family home, blindfolding the caretaker and severely beating him until he fell unconscious. Our 83-year-old mother, Amaan’s wife and his youngest children, both under the age of four, were in the house at the time. Other members of the household were assaulted and his wife was threatened with arrest.

Amaan is our only sibling and the only child of our father, the late Professor Ghulam Azam, to currently reside in Bangladesh. A former decorated Brigadier General in the Bangladesh Army with 30 years of exemplary service to his name, he was neither a politician, nor charged with any illegal activity whatsoever. He lived at our family home caring for our elderly mother. As the only male member of the household, he was the guardian of our family there.

This has left the family deeply traumatized and fearful for the safety of our brother and our family. We call for the respect and observance of due process and the rule of law. We call for Abdullahil Amaan Azmi’s immediate release and safe return to his family, or for police to produce him swiftly before court in accordance with due process.

For press enquiries please contact Dr Salman Al-Azami salmanalazami66@gmail.com