[Image inspired by and post via ShadaKalo]
Bangladesh’s military ruler, General Moeen U Ahmed, has dropped out of sight since returning to Bangladesh on October 28th. However, today the Harvard Crimson once again reported on him. This time the Crimson wrote about Senator Kennedy’s letter to the Bangladeshi military government protesting the detention of leading academics:
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ’54-’56 protested the arrests of 12 Bangladeshi academics in a letter to the nation’s government last Friday, just days after the chief of Bangladesh’s military spoke at Harvard and drew criticism for his regime’s crackdown on academic freedom.
Gen. Moeen U Ahmed, who participated in a Kennedy School of Government executive education course in 2002, has sent troops to quell protests and arrest professors at Rajshahi University and at the country’s flagship institution, the University of Dhaka. A military-backed provisional government has led Bangladesh since January 2007.
“I’m writing to express my deep concern about twelve prominent intellectuals from Dhaka and Rajshahi University who have been detained without charges,” Kennedy wrote in the letter, which was addressed to Bangladesh’s ambassador to the United States.
“I’m especially troubled by accusations that they have been tortured,” Kennedy added. “Holding these twelve men without charge for political reasons is a major assault on the integrity and independence of the academic community of your nation and calls into question your government’s commitment to human rights and the law.”
Moeen spoke at the Kennedy School—an institution named after the senator’s older brother—in a two-day session last week.
It is safe to say that General Moeen’s recent trip to Harvard did not result in positive propaganda value for the military government. Instead it has focused attention at Harvard and in the United States Senate on the human rights abuses of the military government.