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Human Rights Organization

Odhikar is a human rights organisation that was founded in 1994 with the aim of raising awareness on human rights and monitoring violations throughout Bangladesh. Odhikar regularly publishes reports on issues of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and election irregularities. For several years, the NGO and its members have been targeted by the authorities through surveillance, intimidation and legal harassment.


Human rights defenders in Bangladesh face judicial harassment, arbitrary arrest, fabricated charges, abduction, physical attacks, torture and extrajudicial killings. Between February 2013 and September 2017, at least 15 Bangladeshi human rights defenders and activists were murdered. 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.