22 August 2022 - After the sixth anniversary of Arman's abduction, his mother, Ayesha Khatun Khondokar, spoke at a vigil organised by 'Mayer Daak' (Mother's Call), a campaign group for mother's whose children has been forcibly 'disappeared' by the Bangladeshi authorities.
The mother of Mir Ahmad Bin Quasem, Arman to his friends, gave a moving account of how Arman was abducted from his home in front of his children. Arman's mother also gave her reaction to the revelations uncovered in an investigation by Netra News, in which they exposed the existence of a government run detention camp where those forcibly 'disappeared' were held incommunicado.
She mentioned how this confirmed sightings of Arman given by those who were also abducted and then released.
"Praise to God. We hear that Barrister Arman is alive, we believe he is alive and as his mother I believe this truly that he is alive. He didn’t commit any crime that is deserving of him being killed, even though killing is very common here in Bangladesh and can take place for no valid reason," she said.
Full Remarks by Ayesha Khandakar outside the Dhaka Press Club on 20 August 2022
I am here today to inform you all about my son even though everyone in Bangladesh and the international community already knows this my son, Barrister Ahmed Bin Quasem Arman has been in disappearance for the past 6 years. From 2006, he was unable to stay in our permanent residence in Mirpur, he was not given the chance to stay at our family home for one moment as he was constantly being threatened. He would be wondering around from place to place, sometimes in the office and other times elsewhere, without any proper meals he became ill and hospitalised at one point.
We than arranged to rent out a flat in DOHS, a different location to our family home in the hope that he could stay there in peace. But they located and even managed to attack him in the new address and eventually he was forcefully abducted from that address. Prior to the 9th of August (when he was officially abducted), on the 4th of August people in RAB uniform came to the new flat to identify him, that he, Barrister Bin Quasem lives in that location and after confirming they set off with him but after a phone call, they left him in the house.
On the 9th of August, men in plain clothes came to rob my son. In the face of various arms and in total brutality, by force they started to drag him out of the house in front of his family and hews two daughters. Seeing all this his two daughters cried out “Father please take your shoes with you”, without any shoes they continued to drag and pull him down the stairs and his daughters ran down behind with his shoes. In the end his daughter said “Dadu (Grandmother), they didn’t let him take his shoes, my father was taken without any shoes”. Mariam Bushra, his youngest daughter who is with me right now, says that she doesn’t recognise he's real face and only knows him from pictures.
Previous times when the Police would take Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem, they would allow his family members to go with him and he’s whereabouts were known as well as what they were doing to him and he’s case details etc.
But since this time round he was in a different address to where I was and whilst he’s father was in jail after the verdict of execution was given, we couldn’t give much attention to him. Even though my daughter, he’s sister gave a Facebook status at the time “They are taking my brother away, please help me everyone, they are taking my brother away please someone help!” whilst he was being forcibly dragged-out of the house. But in total honesty not a single person came to help us in that situation. We couldn’t record the car number plate; we couldn’t identify who the men were and where they took him. Since that day we have had absolutely no trace or contact with him whatsoever.
We see in different video footages and hear from the mouths of various individuals who have returned from similar enforced disappearances that Arman is Alive, Praise to God. We hear that Barrister Arman is alive, we believe he is alive and as his mother I believe this truly that he is alive. He didn’t commit any crime that is deserving of him being killed, even though killing is very common here in Bangladesh and can take place for no valid reason.
However since my son was a lawyer, he was supporting his father’s case and his senior team members and all of us were telling him to move away from all this and he replied “If I move away they will very easily implement his execution, dear mother I want to fight this legal battle for my father I want to do this for him”.
This legal battle became his fate! And they forcibly disappeared him whilst his father was alive in jail. After given the death sentence, his father Mir Quasem pleaded “ please return my son, as he I cannot give a decision for pleading for life (pran bikkah) without him”. His father’s last wish “Arman will lead my funeral prayers” and we repeatedly sent application to the government to allow him to join us and lead his funeral prayer from wherever he was”. But he was not released. My son, who is memorizer of the holy Qur’an and Barrister could not even be present at his own father’s funeral.
To this day we have not found him.”