Target: Kapil Sibal, Indian Minister of Justice
Goal: Release Shukhoranjan Bali from prison and into the care of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Indian and Bangladeshi authorities should immediately take steps to protect Shukhoranjan Bali, a witness for the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi police abducted Bali and forced him to cross the border into India. Upon crossing the border, Bali claims he was detained and tortured by border security and then thrown into jail. Bali was due to give evidence in the ICT in order to help try people suspected of war crimes during Bangladesh’s war of independence in the early 1970’s.
Human rights organizations have documented numerous cases of Bangladeshi citizens being killed by Indian border security for crossing the border illegally. Bali is lucky to be alive. In April, he was sentenced by an Indian court to 110 days in jail for illegally crossing the border, even though he was forced into the crossing by Bangladeshi police. He has since completed his jail sentence and is still in prison.
Bali should be released to the care of the Indian office of the United Nations. They may determine if Bali wishes to claim asylum and whether he is a refugee. If Bali does wish to claim asylum or even if his claim is rejected, he should not be returned to Bangladesh as he faces a real risk to his life if he returns. Sign this petition and demand that India immediately and unconditionally release Bali to the proper authorities.
Dear Minister Kapil Sibal,
The detention of Shukhoranjan Bali in Indian jail is a violation of his human rights. His jail sentence has come and gone and yet he remains imprisoned. I ask that he be immediately and unconditionally released to the care of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees so that his status may be determined. I also ask that regardless of his status following the High Commissioners’ ruling, Bali must not be returned to Bangladesh. The risk to his life is too great.
Bali’s rights must be respected and he must be released. The alleged treatment of this individual by your border patrol forces goes against international regulations regarding refugees. I am outraged by the allegations of torture made by Bali against your border security. Please allow Bali to safely exit prison and continue with his life in a way that is acceptable under international human rights law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Khan Mohammed Irteza via Flickr