Having taken into account all information made available by the author of the
communication and the State party,
Adopts the following decision:
The author of the communication is Mr. Mizanur Rahman Pir, a citizen of Bangladesh
born in 1969 and currently residing in Switzerland, where he applied for asylum on
29 August 1997. His application having been turned down, he maintains that his forcible
repatriation to Bangladesh would constitute a violation by Switzerland of article 3 of the
Convention against Torture. He is represented by counsel.
In accordance with article 22, paragraph 3, of the Convention, the Committee transmitted
the communication to the State party on 27 November 1998. At the same time, the State party
was requested, pursuant to rule 108, paragraph 9, of the Committee’s rules of procedure, not to
expel the author to Bangladesh while his communication was under consideration by the
Committee. In a submission dated 22 January 1999, the State party informed the Committee that
steps had been taken to ensure that the author was not returned to Bangladesh while his case was
pending before the Committee.
The facts as submitted by the author
The author claims to be a member of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), the main
opposition political party. He was president of the BNP Union from 1994 to 1997 and
vice-president of a regional BNP youth organization (the Yuba Dubal) as of 1997.
On 13 January 1997, the author and his brother were apparently attacked by members of
the Awami League (AL), the political party in power. The author managed to flee, but his
brother was seriously injured. A complaint was lodged with the police. The police arrested one
of the suspected attackers, but quickly released him without charge. Members of the arrested
person’s family also exerted pressure on the author, who in the end withdrew his complaint.
After that incident, the author was forced to leave his home during the day. In the night
of 13-14 June 1997, an AL member who was a driver for one of the organization’s leaders,
Mr. Shafijrahman, was killed. The attack’s intended victim was apparently Mr. Shafijrahman
himself, who was prompted to lodge a complaint against the author and four other
BNP sympathizers. In that regard, the author points out that, in Bangladesh, it is common
practice for BNP members to have complaints lodged against them and to be charged on
non-existent grounds; this, in fact, constituted an abuse of power by AL members to intimidate
and eliminate political opponents. After the complaint was lodged, the author decided to leave
his country immediately.
The author arrived in Switzerland on 26 August 1997 and applied for asylum
on 29 August 1997. His application was turned down on 7 January 1998, essentially on the
grounds that the attack against him and his brother had not been carried out by the State. The
author appealed the ruling to the Swiss appeals court dealing with asylum matters. The appeal
was rejected on 15 April 1998.