The Case of Samiun Rahman is highlighted by CAGE in the media

The recent case of Londoner Samiun Rahman’s arrest in Bangladesh has been widely covered in the media. The media hype and narrative, however, have only served to distort the facts of the case. Read on to discover how CAGE has raised awareness of the violations of fundamental principles of law that are taking place in Samiun Rahman's case and called into question the circumstances surrounding his arrest. 

In September, the case of 24 year old British citizen Samiun Rahman who was arrested in Bangladesh came to CAGE’s attention. It was alleged by the Bangladeshi police that he was in Dhaka recruiting on behalf of both the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra, (both based in Syria) after they claimed to have obtained a confession from him.

Below is the advocacy work that CAGE conducted on this case:

1)      CAGE, familiar with Bangladesh’s infamously abysmal human rights record, issued a press release urging the UK government to practice caution when considering these claims and stressed that he had not yet been charged. In this press release, CAGE highlighted the extensive reports on the Bangladeshi authorities' widespread use of extrajudicial killings, torture in prisons and police violence.

2)      As the case developed in October, CAGE, known to be at the forefront of raising concerns about Rahman’s treatment and arrest, was contacted by many news agencies for comment. The BBC interviewed CAGE’s Amandla Thomas-Johnson who once again re-iterated that the police’s allegations should be viewed within the context of Bangladesh’s poor track-record of torture as a means of extracting confessions following arrests.

3)      CAGE, in an effort to produce a wider, more holistic picture of the case, also took statements from Samiun Rahman’s wife which were picked up and quoted by the Daily Star in their reporting of the story.

4)      Last week, as it emerged that Rahman’s family were forced to pay a ‘torture bribe’ to the Bangladeshi authorities to prevent Rahman from being further mistreated, the Independent contacted CAGE for further comment on the case. CAGE used this opportunity to highlight the grossly incorrect narrative that has been so prevalent in the media on this case. In his comment, Amandla Thomas-Johnson drew attention to the ‘holes’ in the case pointing out the impossibility of working for and recruiting for two organisations which are fighting each other. Amandla also commented on the absurdity of the mock arrest that was staged by the police at the railway station in Dhaka - an event which has been largely ignored by the media. He underlined that Rahman’s case perfectly exemplified the abuses of the War on Terror in that not only was Rahman being detained and interrogated in conditions incompatible with the most basic principles of law but also that the extent of the media hype served to distort the focus of the case and presume guilt from the outset.

CAGE has advocated for due process in many War on Terror cases around the world and will continue to do so.


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