Rizwan Hussain’s Statement on the incident

I travelled to Bangladesh on 11th April 2008 to visit my ailing father who is currently at Square Hospital suffering from final stages of Lung Disease.

On 14th April, I travelled to Dhaka to see off my sister, brother in law and baby nephew at Zia International Airport, she was due to fly back to the UK on BA145 at 08.00 hours. I entered the airport with his family through Door 23 having purchased a ticket for 500 taka. I accompanied my sister to the British Airways counter, assisted her to check in and then my sister proceeded on to the departure lounge.

I proceeded to leave the airport to return to my car in the car park, just as I was leaving I was approached by an elderly woman (from Loughborough) who informed me of some problems she was facing with her ticket with Emirates. It transpired that this lady was the mother in law of Abdul Mozid Taher (Organising Secretary of the Greater Sylhet Council). Mr. Taher also called at that point from UK and requested me to assist his mother in law and young sister at the airport. On this request, I spoke to the Emirates check-in counter and explained the ladies problem.

The emirates check in officer Jami asked me to wait a little while and he would get back to me if a solution can be found. I stayed a little while to help her. A few minutes later I was approached by security staff and asked how I got in. I explained that I had entered to see off my sister, brother in law, and child and presently was trying to help the elderly lady.

The security officer took me downstairs to an office known as the DSO’s office. At the DSO’s office, the DSO Iftekhar Jahan and two other officers interviewed me and insisted that I make a statement that I got in illegally and had entered with the intention of assisting illegal immigrants. I was unwilling to make a false statement. I was asked to identify myself, and I responded by stating that I was from England and by profession a Barrister. At that point, I was asked to produce proof of British citizenship my certificate of qualifications as a barrister to prove this.

The DSO then picked up the phone and made a call. A few minutes later one police officer was stationed at the door of the security office. At that point, I realised that I was not able to leave. He enquired with the DSO what was happening and he responded by saying that I would have to see a senior officer. A few minutes later five uniformed officers (navy trousers and light blue shirts) arrived and took me to the third floor. As soon as I was out of the view of the departure concourse, they started pushing and dragging me towards a room. The room was empty except three low chairs and a metal tall drum to the left. One officer remained outside to guard the door and four entered. The four that entered were Anwar, Saiful, Mizan and Delawar. The officer outside was Mujib.

In the room the four officers took out one metre long wooden battens about 3 inches in thickness and without any question started beating me. The beating continued for about 55 minutes. The assailants hit on the back, legs and arms. I was asked to stand facing a wall with my arms spread whilst they hit me on the back. After a while the beating stopped, I was then dragged to another room and told to stand in front of another officer sitting behind a desk. The officer enquired whether I signed a statement and then proceeded to instruct that I be taken back to the other room again for a statement.

I was taken back to the room and beaten again by the four officers. This time they asked me to remove my shoes and they beat me on my feet and ankles too. I asked for water as I could feel I was dehydrating. They brought a bottle of water and emptied it on the floor and asked me to drink from the floor. I refused to drink so they continued the beating. After another 30 minutes or so, they asked me again if I would write a statement. I agreed and they then stopped. My hands were shaking and I was unable to write, I was given a few minutes to steady myself then provided with pen and paper and a chair to lean on. I wrote the following statement as it was dictated to me by one of the officers named Delawar;

“I am Rizwan Hussain of Hobigonj entered the airport illegally and entered to help illegal immigrants. I am writing this statement without any mental or physical torture and in the best of health. I am sorry; I will never do this again”

I was the taken back to the other room in front of the senior officer behind the desk and he instructed me to apologies individually to the officers who beaten me. The officer then instructed that I was `taken back to cell to tidy myself up.

I was taken back to the empty room and just as beating was about to start again, Mujib, the fifth officer entered the room and asked the other 4 to leave. Mujib sat with me for a while whilst I regained some strength. He asked me too button up my blazer to hide my shirt that was ripped. I was asked to practice walking around the room. After about half an hour I was taken downstairs and left outside at a back entrance of the airport. I then somehow managed to walk to near the mosque and called my younger cousin & driver to pick me up.

I was very much in shock and did want to remain in Dhaka as I was scared for my security. I was also worried that I had to get some medicine to my father in hospital as soon as possible; hence I immediately left for Hobigonj.

Later in the evening I visited a hospital in hobigonj where I was seen to. I discovered at that point that I had suffered multiple fractures to right leg and a broken right arm. I was in great pain and unable to walk. On my back, arms and legs I suffered severe bruising, some 60% of the upper body was severely bruised. I was x-rayed and was prescribed medicine. Plastering was not available in Hobigonj and I had to return to Dhaka the next day for plastering and then further x-rays at Square Hospital.


30 responses to “Rizwan Hussain’s Statement on the incident

  1. Pingback: Extra-Judicial

  2. Response to DEEPAs note.

    Salaam, I am Rizwans Brother in law.

    Fact: left arm -clean break and right leg fractured – YOU CAN STILL WALK ON A FRACTURE.

    Fact: he was in the baggage check-in area, NOT in a high security zone. (there are 21 cameras at ZIA Airport check the footage)

    Fact: He flew back with British Airways which is 10hr flight NOT 16hrs, almost knocked out with pain killers. (British airways staff witnessed him passingout halfway through his meal – please call them)

    Fact: He was admitted to Newham Hospital on the 18th, where he was xrayed, following which his left arm and right leg was replastered.n(can be confirmed by Newham hospital)

    Fact: Medical reports: all the Bangladesh reports, xrays including the Newham hospital reports can be seen. Just try contacting him or a member of family directly.

    Fact: Rizwan was never a violent or verbally abusive person even as a child – just ask anyone from his home town Loughborough.

    Fact: they did not kill Rizwan but they killed 2 people in the past (no research required)

    Fact: airport employees are constantly looking for ways to get some money out of you. They are not very helpful, they would rather stand and chat rather than to open another counter and reduce your waiting time whilst babies are crying. Even Tescos provide better service and airport officials are all supposed to be graduates! There’s no documentaion or posters on the walls stating what you can take or not and they use this to their advantage and demand money off you for having items like your own jewellery in your luggage – as was the case with my wife! They demand money off you for carrying cash! My wife was struggling with our 23 month old son whilst trying to take down hand luggage and a push chair from the conveyer belt (whilst I was detained behind for having cash in my pocket), and instead of offering assistance to her, the custom officer had a go at her for not moving along fast enough and told her that SHE LACKS IN COMMON SENSE! And, she’s a secondary school teacher – she didn’t even reply to the cooment. I can’t see how you say that we flaunt ourselves in the airport with our so called foreign accents! I travel to Bangladesh every year and trust me, as Allah is my witness this is true…

    Fact: there are some good staff at the air port and you do come across them from time to time, however they all know what goes on in the airport and keep silent and that makes them guilty in my eyes. Just ask the families of the two that were murdered.


    The family is already in mourning over this as well as their terminally ill father and you are adding salt into their wounds.

  3. We should be doing this for all bangladeshi’s, NOT JUST FOR ONE PERSON!!

    Things like this happening everyday, but we are turning a blind eye, just because it happened to a
    celebrity we are taking action, who took action for Surat Miah when he got killed in the same manner?, who is taking action for all the Bangladeshi’s getting killed and got killed everyday.

    This commitee needs to fight for the whole bengali community not just for Rizwan Hussain,

    I feel bad for what happened to him, and am disgusted that one bengali would do this to another. But we should be opening our eyes for every one, regardless if they are non-muslim, non-british, non-celebrity, non-tv presenter.

  4. Moin I urge you to actually read the front page of this website: This is the first campaign, one of many. We understand this happens and has happed to others in the past, hence why we set up. But should you not be supporting us in our efforts to bring this one case to Justice. We are trying to set a president here. This is not about Rizwan’s ego because he has none.

    What has happened to Rizwan has made everyone here open their eyes and actually want to make a difference. Maybe we can harness this energy and keep on using it for future cases.

    Justice for Rizwan, Justice for Bangladesh

    Deepa, you make me so sad, why are you trying to excuse torture and abuse?

    Rizwan’s Brother-in-Law; I apologise you had to justify and explain to strangers your inner suffering and turmoil.

  5. i went to Bangladesh with my parents and my brother and sister it was my first time.we went on a return ticket to see my sick and old grandmother on qater airways. when we were returning back we have to abord the plane from Zia international airpot the qater airways staff would not let us abord the flight we all had british passport except my dad he had banladesh passport and he had two passposrt because my dad old one expired so he had a new and old.what bangladesh staff did they did not let us fly because they wanted £500.00 of us so my mum refused to give them any money they started to behaving bad they took my dad passport away from us and said he need second opinion from british high commisioner and when he came back unstaple it took it from us and burned it a bit also crampled it up and when the qater air ways staff came back my mum said where is the british high commisioner he ignord my mum and closed the counter and went. they gave us no help all they did was abused us and treated us like no human being. so we had to stay in dhaka for another five days and my mum managed to go and see someone in british high commision and managed to get my dads passport fix by spending £1000.00. but we were so scared my mum did not say nothing because fear of our lifes. the experience that we recieve from Bangladesh Zia International airport. i dont think we will ever go to that country.I think those people are jelouse because we are so many selhetis are british and they are not. I think all the air line should go direct to Selhet not to dhaka. and what happend to you Rizwan bai is to much we are really sorry everyone should awake up now before more people go and die in that country anymore and make sure those animal who done that to you get punish.

  6. Deepa – Please know the facts first. Do not make assumptions, which help no-one. It could have been anyone.

    Moin – The fact it has happened to a celebrity does make it more transparent but it is upto those who have suffered similar misfortunes to speak up.

    There needs to be more unity rather than opposition.

    Khadem, NW7

  7. Sister Deepa,

    Your comments makes me really upset. I went through your comments very crefully. I am sorry I was unable to find what point you was trying to establish. Deepa- Still there are few very good pepoles around us, their words of mouth are much more valuable then paper certificate. I think you have made an error of judgements and you do not have much idea who Barrister Rizwan Hussain is.

    Rizwan Hussain is a well-known TV personality for his over-whelming humanitarian aid work and charity fundraising causes. He is a well-respected & admirable figure in the London-UK Muslim community and worldwide.

    Working alongside Muslim Aid, Helping Hands, he helped regenerate the areas of Bangladesh devastated by recent Cyclone Sidr (late 2007), hence his regular and most visits there. Rizwan also actively campaigned to raise funds for the Earthquake in Pakistan and other causes such as Interpal, Muslim Hands, Islamic Relief, and many more charity organisations. His humble personality and open manner has made him a household favorite regardless of age or gender.

    Deepa- it is about time to get us all united and and to make sure that these criminals are brought into justice so that no one ever face this kind of horrific experiences what brother Rizwan been through. Also once justice been done, Late Surat Ali’s (murdered in the same air port) departed soul may get some peace.

    Hope you will be attending tomorrow’s event at Aftab Ali’s Park, where you will have more opportunities to get the facts right.



  8. I hope Rizwan bai will forgive me for saying this but I am pleased this has happened to him! let me explain, due to his profile and importance in the bengali community we are all hearing this. But can you imagine how many people are going through this, worse still how many times this happens each day.

    I am absolutely disgusted at the actions of those in the position to protect our rights and civil liberties. Sorry to sound so sceptical but I believe this will continue to happen throughout Bangladesh, not only in airports as those who may be naive enough to believe.

    Questions ought to be asked about their superiors as this i believe was not just the action of a few bad apples or individuals. All of this is filtered down from the top. It could be quite easily sorted by the government, all that needs to be done is threaten the jobs of the managers and managers of managers, soon enough this sort of behaviour will be in the past. The incedent also begs the questions of how they have been able to get away with this sort of thing for so long, I personally blame the bangladesh government or the lack of government!!!

    I would hope further action is taken against these individuals for commiting such a calous and cowardly act which is then potrayed through the Bangladeshi media channels. They’l soon enough understand the implications of their actions!!!!

  9. I feel realy sorry for Deepa, who I think is completeletly out of touch from Bangladesh and not know how much trouble people has to go through every time one travels to Bangladesh. After travelling whole of the world – your trouble will start as soon as you step down from the aircraft to Bangladesh soil. Those of us who love Bangladesh still travel to Bangladesh every year like Dilshad bhai and know what it is like travelling through Bangladesh airports. My question to Bangladesh authority is – what on earth Bangladesh Airforce Officers doing there? This should not be their job to be working as airport security officers in the first place. I am very pleased to see the responses from our community and pray that this continues until we and our next generation to come travels to our own country without going through any trouble, let alone the inhumane experience that Rizwan bhai had. If it comes to I would urge all Bangladeshis living all over the world to boycott travelling to Bangladesh for at least two weeks (within pre defined dates) unless it is an emergency so that Bangladesh govnt starts taking us seriously. I pray that Rizwan bhai recovers soon – we are all with him.

  10. muslim sister

    salaam brothers and sisters, i couldnt beleive what had happened to such a man that had asked nothing for return for all the hard work he has done and will be doing when he is well again…. inshallah justice will be served and i hope that brother Rizwan recovers soon…..this is an eye opener for all the british bengalis that bangladesh is at no state of peace for anyone….
    Rizwan bhai please get well soon, we mis you on all the channels especially Islam Channel and national qiraat competion

  11. Rizwan Hussain is a good man, this can be seen through him, he doesn’t deserve this pain, no one really does. Dilshad (don’t know what to call you, but if your his brother in law….So brother in law…. be with him and the entire family) I know this is not necessary to say, your doing a good job.

    Why does it feel like this incident taking place with one of my family members? Don’t Know… i feel as through am under pressure

    Right now both of my brothers are back home, i can’t imagine anything happening to them. Pray that my brothers come back safe and sound in one piece to me. We are totally alone without them at the moment.
    Anyway back to the point… Lets all pray that Rizwan Bhai recovers well, and Father is also recovering from lung disease. My dua is with everyone in the family. Stay strong. Salaam

  12. Rizwan Hussain, is a very nice good hearted well respected man, who has suffered for no reason.
    We must wake up to this disgusting reality of discrimination and act together relentlessly until we get justice for him and all the other brother and sister who have suffered.
    If we allow this kind of discrimination to carry on, then we as a society would fail our selves and the future generations, who would hate going to Bangladesh.

  13. Salam brothers and sisters,
    I believe that Rizwan Hussain is still alive due to all the dwu’as from the poor people he has helped and the dwu’a from us.He has been terribly battered and is still alive, if it was some one like us we wouldnt be living.
    This shows how much of a good person he is.
    May Allah help and protect him and all the people who have suffered because of it, thank all them people who have helped bring him back to this country to be heard of this situation otherwise we all would have been unaware.

  14. I truly have no words to express my anger towards such atrocity. Its a really sad and horrific incident and people like Mr razwan Hussain don’t deserve such degrading treatment. So no one does regardless of their position in socity. People in Bangladesh or anywhere in the world do not have the power to take away ones human right not to be treated that way. One thing I wanted to see to Deepa’s Comment is that even if Mr ridwan Hussain made a mistake entering the airport with a valid passport, the officials have not right under the law to torture wnybody without doing investigation. Even after the investigation if they found somebody to have committed a crime its the court’s who should give a decision accordingly. Its not the officials or anybody punish. they have no such rights! So no one should suggest that if you are found in an extreme security zone, you must be tortured or killed. it undoubtedly so inhuman.

  15. I beleive tha what happened to brother Rizwan was completely wrong and that the people who harmed him should get the sack and compensta for his injuries. I also think that the abusers should have respected his status as a barrister.
    I hope brother Rizwan gets well soon and is back on his channels.
    We’re all missing him so much!!!

  16. brother amjad you are brushing all sylheti’s with one colour.

    there are a few who act irresponsibly once they are at the airport but not all.

    and blaming sylheti’s alone is unfair I have witnessed people from other region acting worse. And those who are from dhaka get away with abusing the staff there because , (well you know why).
    now going back to restricted area’s why do the officials allow people in for 500tk if they put a stop to that then they will not have to do such thing.
    It is simple they only want one thing that is some extra cash they could not care less who was going through the restricted area whether be a terrorist or a smuggler give them some money and they will sell their soul even.
    I have traveled to many countries and every time I cautiously check that I have everything right . no country bothered apart from bangladesh they were picking on the slightest things just to get some money out of me. when you call for a managerial figure he turns and says “just give him some tea money and it’ll be sorted” I mean these people have come to the point where policies and regulations mean nothing to them as long as they get there tea and biscuit money and when you do get fed up and give them something just so the ordeal is over another approaches you.

    Bangladesh has the potential to flourish on tourist economy but those pathetic workers have ruined it. tourists go there and never want to go back because of the ordeal they suffer at the entrance and exit.

  17. Bro Khayer

    he have described everything with precision and I praise you for this . I hope reading your comment will give those in dispute a clearer understanding of the situation there.

    Oh and thank you for the tip. next time I think I will take a few packs of tea bags and biscuits to hand out at the airport.lol.
    oh last time I was at the port a man who is from dhaka was threatening the staff saying ” How dare you do you know who I am i am from this area in dhaka and i will find out who you are and you’ll be sorry”. the official then turned and said “no sir please you are like a father to me I mande a mistake etc.” I mean what the hell was that about, just coz the guy was a dhaka resident and knew people the official literally shit himself.
    so when a sylheti does that he either gets killed or beaten to an inch of his life.

  18. there are three things I really hate encountering in bangladesh but can’t avoid ;
    mosquito’s = they suck your blood out as mush as possible.
    leeches = they suck your blood out as much as possible.
    dhaka airport workers = they suck money out of you as much as possible and if they fail to do that they will spill your blood.

  19. Tarique Hassan

    Brother Amjad Ali – What brother Khayer explained in his prevoius comments, is totally correct. Two months ago we (me and my family) come back from Bangladesh. I noticed in the check in counter, so called “restricted Area” there was a TV Actor came to see off one of his relaitves. That person was walking every where. No airport authorities bothered to ask him what he was doing there. My question is does law applies for a certain group of peoples.
    This is the same air port where they have murdered Surat Maih. Surat Maih did not get justice.
    What they have done to Brother Rizwan, seems to be a piece of cake for them.
    We must not let these criminals get away , the crimes they are doing. Now it’s time to take appropriate actions. Brother Rizwan, we just pray for your quick recovery. Thanks to Allah that you have come back alive. The pain and suffering they have caused to you will not go waste.


  20. Brother Moin Uddin is absolutely right with his comment.
    Brother khayer – I am from Sylhet myself & I would never brush off anybody. I have learnt to respect people regardless of their origin, colour, religion.
    Sadly, bribing officials is a common practice in BD. BD is a 3rd world country and therefore the standards over there is different from UK. E.g. if we see a thief trying to steal, in UK we will call the police. In BD, unfortunately they will be beaten to death for the same crime. Due to better future, educated people are leaving BD and as a result letting the country run by corrupt people. If we don’t unite together in the West then BD has no future.

    Those perpetrators should be brought to justice for this criminal act. This has brought shame on the country throughout the world.

    At the same time, remember that you expect to recieve a penalty ticket by post if you jump a red light!

  21. Numan Hussain

    Salaams – i heard the news late hence the late response. My thoughts and prayers/duas are with Br Rizwan and his family for a very speedy recovery. This protest email was sent to BHC in BD earlier. If at all possible, please forward this email to him. like many of us, I am utterly shocked and speechless about whta happended.

    Best wishes,

    For the Attention of the British High Commissioner in Bangladesh
    His Excellency, the British High Commissioner in Bangladesh,

    I write expressing my profound disappointment at the way a reknown British-Bangladeshi barrister and humanitarian worker Rizwan Hussain was physically abused by the authorities in Dhaka airport recently.

    As a British-Bangladeshi living in the UK, I am now extremely apprehensive and fearful about visiting Bangladesh in future and I know many of my compatriots feel the same way.

    His Excellency is very well aware this was not an isolated incident but a long list of mistreatment and abuse carried out by the authorities in the airports of Bangladesh in recent times.

    Can His Excellency assure that the culprits identified are brought to justice as swiftly as possible with the full force of the law and reassure British-Bangladeshi’s, like myself, such incidences and violation of human rights will not occur in the airports of Bangladesh.

    I further urge His Excellency to bring the matter to attention of the current caretaker Government in Bangladesh and conduct an independent enquiry into the matter. This incident has brought unnecessary negative media attention to Bangladesh – a beautiful peace loving nation rich in culture and heritage. The focus of the attention should be to build and strengthen the governance arrangements of the nation and a full return to democracy.

    I await your earliest response.

    Yours sincerely

    Numan Hussain

  22. A nice piece of work, Numan. Just sent e mail to British High Commision in BD. Many thanks.

  23. thank you for your pleasant replies brothers.

    But I sincerely believe that now is a time where parties can be formed and a proper democracy can preveil in Bangladesh, once this chance goes I doubt there will be another for decades to come.
    I am pleading to our fellow brothers and sisters to go out there and form a united party that knows the meaning of democracy and applies it. a party that is not corrupt at heart and brings the country to a new era. Tis unfortunate but every time a debate arises regarding Bangladesh’s the conclusion seems that we are not better off after that many years freedom from Pakistan.

    A new light/ A new generation needs to change the corrupt system that is drilled in the hearts of every Bangladeshi there. like it or not everyone has bribed or taken bribery at some point of there life in Bangladesh.

    There are many noble brothers and sisters out there who, I believe can change the countries mentality.
    people have learn from the governments example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy, Hence we have a country That is Bangladesh.

    “In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?
    Blessed Augustine .


  25. i want point this to shazia , i think you have a personl grudge against brother rizwan. i have know this man since childhood i have not as yet seen any negetive side to him. i think i may know where this grudge is coming from. i have heard few things about you it was very disgusting

  26. Dear People of Bangladesh
    Dua for Br Rizwan.
    Bangladesh is not a bad place. People are!!
    Once and for all lets stop these brutal offensive act by the so called Protector of Law at Zia airport.
    I have travelled to Bangladesh a lot, and it seems that People from Sylhet are always mistreated, beaten and abused by people from Dhaka unless you are very rich or you have contacts in high places.
    The Law people think they own whole of Bangladesh, instead of protecting the people they are only protecting themselves and the rich.
    Lets all Sylheti, British, American Bangladeshi brothers and sisters unite and fight this plea with Brother Rizwan, for the betterment future for us and our children at places like DHAKA and Zia Airport.
    Also please bring the Murder Case of SUROT MIAH and other people who have been abused, threaten and beaten get justice as well, PLEASE.
    Most of the people who get harrassed at Zia Airport are people from Sylhet.
    Once and for all everything will be at peace if all foriegn flights could land at Sylhet Airport, then we will not need to see Dhaka Airport and not get harassed.
    80 – 90% of passenger on a flight are from Sylhet, why doesn’t the plane land in Sylhet first and then Dhaka who are the minority passenger…..
    Please UNITE and fight, this is our chance thanks to Br Rizwan.
    Insha Allah.
    Salaam K

  27. get better soon

  28. Latif Miah

    Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.

    What is the current situation with this campaign regarding Rizwan Hussain ?

    Are there any plans for future national meetings/demonstration?
    I live North East of the UK and we have plans to have meetings within our area however to make the gatherings feasible and constructive we need guidelines, also how the information can be relayed back to yourselves or relevant organisations?

    I would appreciate if anyone can help.

    Many thanks.


  29. How can you change this third world country? No respect Money hungry and greedy. All surrounding countries are run in a similar way. A lot of people will need to suffer or die for change to happen. We are all powerless we just have to let time take its course and pray for change. We form the U.K are use to societies that are tolerant respectful and well mannered. We just have to accept that this is not the same for other countries. The only thing we can do is make sure our own behaviour is respectful and hope other people follow in out foot steps. Only the people of Bangladesh can change Bangladesh and it is they who would need to suffer for change to happen.

  30. Comments on this thread have now been closed due to certain indivisuals continually deviating from the focal point of the topic.