Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Bangladesh, August 27, 2007

Institute Condemns Conviction of UN Special Rapporteur

"Sigma Huda, the United Nations' top official for issues pertaining to trafficking in persons, today was convicted of extortion and sentenced to three years in prison in a contrived trial in her native Bangladesh. Ms. Huda has been incarcerated since July 5 after being accused of corruption.

The ruling was scheduled to be handed down last week, but was postponed due to the curfew invoked by the "caretaker" government for major cities in Bangladesh, including Dhaka, the capital. The Anti-Corruption Court released Ms. Huda's verdict today, September 27th, though the exact time of the court proceedings was never given to Ms. Huda's representation or family. In a particularly disturbing conflict of interest and violation of due process, the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission provides financial compensation to judges who hand down convictions.

Ms. Huda's family has been barred from visiting her, delivering food or securing safe storage of her prescribed medicines since last week. The refusal of visitation may be connected to fabricated reports in local newspapers that Ms. Huda smuggled a cell phone into the prison. Ms. Huda's family and supporters fear this false accusation will be used as rationale for escalating the callous and prejudiced treatment against Ms. Huda.

"The conviction of Ms. Huda for erroneous and unsubstantiated charges of corruption continues to be an horrific example of the limitless avarice of totalitarian states for absolute control, even over those citizens who have dedicated their lives to nothing but the betterment of the world," stated Joseph Grieboski, President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, "Such treatment of an international civil servant dedicated to combating the worst form of modern slavery is unjust, unjustifiable, illegal and inhumane. The caretaker government of Bangladesh has mistakenly believed that no one is attentive to its maltreatment of Ms. Huda. The international community must not remain reticent as Ms. Huda is victimized by a Hensonian regime in Bangladesh."

Mr. Grieboski continued, "Despite this setback, the Institute will continue to work on behalf of Ms. Huda; her innocence is known throughout the world and must not be forgotten.""