Newspaper reports today on Tareq Rahman’s allegations of physical torture while in remand.


‘I was kept blindfolded for 18 hours of the 24 hours of remand on December 31. I was not taken to a police station from the Dhaka Central Jail but somewhere else. I was tied up and suspended from the ceiling and tortured physically there while being kept blindfolded,’

Detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique Rahman alleged in the court on Wednesday that he was tortured after being taken on remand.

‘When a politician like me is tortured inhumanly in remand, what can happen to the common people?’

Tarique, who is also senior joint secretary-general of the BNP, questioned the magistrate.

‘I want security for my life,’ he pleaded.

This blogger knows that this report will make many people very happy and also knows that many people will be saddened too. Instead of commenting on this report, this blogger prefers to remind all of the following poem,

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

This poem, “First they came…” which is arguably attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), was written on the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.