Something extraordinary is happening in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh, something worse that other times, with alleged rape and abduction of girls by police, attacks on the family of the traditional chief and continuing traumatization and insecurity of the two Marma sisters.
The International CHT Commission just issued a statement on February 18 via the CHT Commission website.
"I am shocked and profoundly concerned at the continuing terrorization of the two Marma sisters and attacks on Rani Yan Yan, adviser and wife of the Chakma Circle Chief, and her women volunteers who have been providing support to the sisters who wanted to be under her shelter", said Elsa Stamatopoulou, Director of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Program at ISHR, former Chief of the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and Co-Chair of the International CHT Commission.
"Especially attacks on leaders of indigenous minority peoples must ring a bell for the human rights world and for the international community as a whole. Having just edited a book on 'Indigenous Peoples' Rights and Unreported Struggles', I lament the fact that, for so long, inadequate attention is paid to the continuing drama faced by the Indigenous Peoples in the CHT. It is time for our human rights solidarity to be strengthened and for more information to be circulated and action to be taken by all relevant actors. Violence against women and impunity around it in the CHT can no longer be tolerated".