The ICRFoundation was shocked to learn that Mr Muhammad Ali Ashraf, brother to Sharmin Jannat Bhutto and Shafi Nawaz, one of our colleagues from the media team, was recently attacked by a group of suspected Islamic extremists called Jaamat-Shibir on Friday evening. Ms Sharmin Bhutto of course is one of Bangladesh’s most prominent journalist, writer and columnists. She is also one the most easily recognizable faces in Bangladesh media, and well known in the UK’s Bengali community as well.
The ICRFoundation understands that her brother, Mr Ashraf, who was on his way home yesterday evening on the 22nd of July 2016. Suddenly he was surrounded by a group of men wielding knives and revolvers in what was a sudden and brutally executed attack. Mr Ashraf was grievously injured in the aftermath and his family was left traumatized. Later on, Mr Ashraf filed a general diary in Ramna Police station on the 23rd July. The general diary number is 1523.
The ICRFoundation was extremely perturbed upon hearing the news. We got in touch with Ms Sharmin Bhutto and her family to offer our sympathies. The ICRFoundation also contacted the officer-in-charge (OC) of the investigations concerning Mr Ashraf, but with great difficulty. At times we would be told that the OC is unavailable, and at times we would be told he is too busy to take our calls. Once we did get a hold of him we were disappointed to learn that there hasn’t been much progress made. The person we spoke to Sub Inspector Mr Mosharraf who informed us that they do not have much to go on about and that they do not wish to speak about it anymore, since investigations are still ongoing. The ICRFoundation still maintains a consistent link with the police, in order to keep abreast of any progress made on the investigations.
This incident greatly concerns the ICRFoundation, particularly in light of the way bloggers, writers, journalists and progressive thinkers are being killed without cause recently. But it is even more distressing to learn that attackers, like the ones who converged upon Mr Ashraf, are willing to sacrifice family members in order to get to their real targets. The ICRFoundation hopes that Mr Ashraf makes a swift recovery and hopes that he and his family stay safe and sound.
The ICRFoundation would also like to take the opportunity and vehemently condemn the perpetrators of this cowardly attack. The ICRF demands justice for Ms Sharmin Bhutto and her family.