Friday, August 31, 2007

Protest Sigma Huda's Jail Sentence

BANGLADESH: Sigma Huda, human rights lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, sentenced to a 3 year jail term. Write letters protesting this unjust sentence--see below...

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women condemns the 3-year sentence handed down by a special military-controlled court in Dhaka against human rights lawyer, Sigma Huda, and calls for her immediate release. Sigma was convicted in a mock trial on trumped-up charges of
corruption. Proceedings were conducted in a special court, with irregular procedures, under close army supervision.

The sentence is yet another travesty of justice imposed by the current military-backed government who continues to arrest and imprison thousands of people since taking control in January 2007. In spite of the fact that Sigma Huda has a debilitating heart condition and is in
secondary renal failure, she has been detained in prison since the beginning of July 2007 under appalling conditions with no access to the doctors or the treatment that she needs.

Dr. Janice Raymond, representative of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, states: "It is an irony that Sigma Huda, who has spent much of her life fighting corruption has now been condemned as corrupt, with the court using "evidence" obtained from witnesses under duress in a legal trial whose judgment was pre-ordained. And it is a mockery of international human rights that a woman who has defended many victims of human rights abuses is now the victim herself of state-sponsored human rights abuses, deprived of her right to medical treatment and of her right to a free and fair trial."

Please send letters of protest to your government's embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh and to your foreign ministries. In the United States, please send these letters to the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520.

In Europe, please send additional e-mails to Luis Filipe Marques Amado at and to Jose Manueal Barroso, President of the European Commission at


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