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.