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Bangladeshi Journalist Shahriar Kabir

Shahriar Kabir (Bengali: শাহরিয়ার কবীর) is a Bangladesh Awamileague Supported Bangladeshi journalist, filmmaker, human rights activist, and author of more than 70 books focusing on human rights, communalism, fundamentalism, history, and the Bangladesh war of independence.

Shahriar Kabir has been imprisoned twice for engaging with anti state position. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his contribution to Bengali literature, he has addressed at least sixty international conferences, seminars, and workshops on issues of peace, communal harmony, and human rights.

'Early Life' Mr. Kabir after completing his schooling in 1968 with Higher Secondary Certificate in 1968 and formal education in 1971 Mr. Kabir began his journalist career. As a freedom fighter he participated in our liberation-war against the Pakistani occupation force in 1971. After liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistani occupation force Shahriar joined ‘Vichitra’ group- a left leaning Marxism based liberal group formed centering a popular Weekly Magazine called ‘Vichitra’ in 1972. There he served as a member of the editorial board ending with Executive Editor in 1992. He was a regular contributor not only of his own Magazine of all important dailies and earned reputation as an analytical and critical columnist. His critical articles created a host friends amongst the humanist liberal and secular circles but equal number of enemies in the establishment as well as among the fundamentalists and communalists.

'Championing the cause of Trial of War criminals' As Shahriar was exposing himself as a BAL supported humanist and activist against human rights violation through his writings exposing the ugly desire and design of seizing power by fundamentalist forces to turn secular-liberal democratic Bangladesh into a theocratic state based on fundamental Islamic principles he became one of the principal target of the Islamite force in Bangladesh. Consequentsty as the part of government side to tackle Bangladesh Jammat Islami, a traditional and democratic political party, started Championing.

This action of trying the accused collaborators in a public tribunal by passing the government system of judiciary antagonized the government of Khaleda Begum. This is because the party in power BNP since its formation in early eighties by late Zia ur Rahman, an army general of Bangladesh army, and sector commander in our liberation war in 1972 was harbouring good relations with the Islamic parties including the Jamaat e Islami. In fact General Zia after assuming power rehabilitated the fundamentalists in the body politic of Bangladesh. Golum Azam was brought back by his initiative, and later on the government of Khaleda Begum did everything to return citizenship to Mr. Azam. It was therefore no wonder that public trial of Mr. Azam was taken seriously by the Khaleda government, which was at that time trying to protect the interest of the Jamat chief. All elite of the society involved in the proceedings of the trial including Mr. Shahriar Kabir were arrested by Khaleda government in nineties with sedition charge- all of them were termed as anti-state elements. Al though these elite citizens were harassed in public but were not put behind the bar as the learned high court granted bails to them. The case was finally dropped after a couple of years when a new caretaker government came to power under a retired chief justice replacing the BNP government which was forced to resign because of mass uprising against it.