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Zillur Rahman

Zillur Rahman is a journalist, human rights defender, and the host of the popular late-night talk show “Tritiyo Matra”. He is also the executive director of a Bangladesh-based think tank, the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS). Before CGS, Zillur Rahman was working at leading newspapers in Bangladesh such as Weekly Bichinta, Weekly Khaborer Kagoj, Ajker Kagoj, Weekly Kagoj, Weekly Shomoy, Weekly Laboni, Weekly Bichitra and the Daily Ittefaq. Additionally, the human rights defender has also worked the World Bank (External Affairs Department) in 2000 and for the UNICEF (Water & Sanitation Department) in 2001.

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.