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Maidul Islam

Maidul Islam

HRD, Associate Professor

Maidul Islam is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Chittagong (CU), Bangladesh. Currently, the human rights defender is on study leave and pursuing his PhD degree at the Department of Sociology in the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is also an advocate for academic freedom and civil and political rights on social media and the issues of discrimination, social justice and human rights violations.

Bangladesh protest

Human rights defenders in Bangladesh face judicial harassment, arbitrary arrest, fabricated charges, abduction, physical attacks, torture and extrajudicial killings. Local extremist groups pledging allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent often claimed responsibility for the attacks, which have targeted HRDs who write about women’s rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, freedom of religion, and other human rights issues. Despite these risks, there was no impetus on the part of the government to address the protection needs of HRDs. The authorities have so far failed to properly investigate a majority of the murders and impunity remains a serious concern.


HRDs working on different rights issues – including indigenous peoples' rights, economic social and cultural rights, women’s rights, migrant rights, labour rights, LGBTI rights, freedom of expression, police brutality, extra-judicial killings and disappearances, and sexual and reproductive rights – report decreasing their public activism and online writings in their area of expertise. Women human rights defenders have been particularly vulnerable: many of them have been sexually harassed and assaulted.