Update: There are reports that Tasneem has been released, but so far they seem to be reporting each other, all reporting something Human Rights Watch said. It’s not absolutely clear how HRW knows – although Tasneem works for them, so they probably do know. Still, I’ll feel happier when some major media report it. But it’s the middle of the night everywhere but Seattle; no doubt by the time I get on the computer tomorrow there will be lots of major media reports.
This is terrible. I know Tasneem – well not know, exactly, but we’ve swapped emails, he’s a fan of B&W and sends me links to his excellent articles; I think of him as a friend in Bangladesh. I also think of him as a brave, at risk friend in Bangladesh, and sure enough, they showed up at midnight and took him away. This is not good. Bangladesh does not have a good record on this kind of thing – which is exactly what Tasneem has been reporting on – which is why they showed up at midnight and took him away. Make noise. If you have any way to make noise (blog, newspaper, captive audience, etc), make it. Spread it around. I was alerted by an email from Tasneem’s wife (sent to a bunch of people); I forwarded it to a few people who can make noise; I even took the liberty of forwarding it to Amartya Sen. No, I don’t know him, but I was pretty sure he’d be interested, so why not.
Hm – I know what I could do. I could break protocol and tell everyone on the B&W mailing list – that’s over a thousand people, many of whom are journalists or academics or BBC producers with inside knowledge of silencing by oppressive regimes (well not many of those that I know of, only one). Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. You do something too if you can.