May 9, 2019
On 4 May 2019, Sultana Kamal filed a complaint at the Dhanmondi Police Station in Dhaka, detailing a threat on her life and requesting protection from state authorities. The death threat against her was made by the militant Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh in their online publication ‘Lone Wolf’ dated March 2019.
Sultana Kamal is a human rights defender and lawyer known for her work on civil and political as well as gender rights. She is currently the chairperson of several human rights organisations, including South Asians for Human Rights, Transparency International Bangladesh and We Can Bangladesh. Sultana Kamal is also the co-chairperson of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission. For over 15 years, she served as the Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a legal aid and human rights organisation in Bangladesh.
The death threat against Sultana Kamal was published in the March 2019 issue of ‘Lone Wolf’, a publication of the militant Islamist group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen circulated on the Telegram messaging app. Sultana Kamal’s name was mentioned in a list of “targets” identified by the group alongside suggestions of possible ways to kill them. She and a few others were also labelled as ‘murtad’ or apostates in the publication.
This is not the first time that Sultana Kamal has received threats from fundamentalist groups. On 2 June 2017, another hardline Islamist group named Hefazat-e-Islam had threatened her with arrest, exile, and violence for disagreeing with one of their representatives on a TV show.