Rizwan Hussain at his home in Newham
Beaten up by Bangladeshi officials
By Angela Saini & Harriet Prest
Bengali Londoners have reacted with shock and fear to beating suffered by the British barrister and television presenter, Rizwan Hussain, at Zia International Airport. Here are details of the assault and your reactions to it.
Rizwan Hussain still bears the scars of an assault committed by airport staff at Zia International Airport. Bones in his right leg and left arms were broken, he has bruises to sixty per cent of his upper body, and he is barely able to walk.
A trained barrister and a popular local television presenter for Bangla TV and Channel S, both east London-based Bangladeshi stations, he says he is still shocked by what happened.
"It was a brutal, unexplained beating. I was trying to defend myself." he said in an interview with BBC London radio, "There's still no logical explanation."
To listen to the full interview with Angela Saini, click on the audio link on the right hand side of this page.
How did it happen?
Rizwan Hussain entered a restricted area within the airport while trying to assist a woman and her daughter with ticket problems.
Rizwan Hussain leaving Dhaka
He was taken into another room on suspicion of human trafficking, where he says he was beaten by security officials for 55 minutes before being forced to sign a statement of guilt.
Five men were involved in the assault. When he was able to walk again afterwards, he was told he could leave the airport.
Allama Siddiki, the Bangladeshi Deputy High Commissioner in London said that one person involved in the assault had been suspended and an investigation was underway into the incident.
"We regret it very, very much that something of this sort has happened. It is an unfortunate incident," Mr Siddiki said.
Do you feel safe travelling to Bangladesh? Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I am a British Bangladeshi living in Birmingham. When I heard this news about Rizwan Hussain I was deeply saddened and disgusted with the Officials in Bangladeshi Airport. I travel to Bangladesh with my family quite often and can not bare to think that something like this can happen to me or my family members. Now I have a different view about this, if it can happen to a man of that statue then why not me or other people! I do not feel safe travelling to Bangladesh. I would like to say my sympathy for Rizwan Hussain and hope he gets justice from all this." - F Chowdhury
"I am a Brit-Bangladeshi myself, and after what has happened to Rizwan Hussain, I find it very difficult to say that I will travel to Bangaldesh ever again until measures have been taken to ensure that it is safe. It has put a fear in me. My husband's entire family is in Bangladesh, I have a son who will be turning 2 this week, I hoped to take a 2 week trip to Bangladesh giving my in-laws a chance to meet their only grandson, but now I have a fear that the airport I will travel through is not safe and secure at all, anything could happen!! I'm very disappointed and hope that justice is brought for what happened against Rizwan." - Masumma
"I am 24 years old and British Citizens. I was born in Bangladesh. The incident on Rizwan Hussain is horrifying and I do feel scared of the authorities in Bangladesh. I am going on holiday to Bangladesh in July and now having second thoughts after seeing the news on Rizwan. I feel scared to visit my home country because there is no law and order. This is damaging the reputation of Bangladesh." - Moymona Begum
"Bangladesh is a beautiful place. Barrister Rizwan must be a very unlucky fellow to get involved in the assault. This incident should not deter anyone from visiting the country. Millions pass through the Dhaka International Airport without incident. A bit of common sense and patience which is a great virtue in any situation and all people should comply with irksome rules and regulations." - Mashud Haque
"I find the incident shocking and sickening. I am a Bangladeshi myself, I was born there I came to the UK when was 9 months old with my parents. I went only once and had a horrendous return journey thanks to the money hungry, greedy airport officials and their lack of help. I am in no hurry to go back to Bangladesh. I would feel extremely nervous and scared if I were to travel by myself. If I had other people with me, whom I know and they speak and read well, then I would feel safe then." - Mohammed Samsuddin Ahmed
"Do I feel safe travelling to Bangladesh? NO" - R. Abdul
"My thoughts on this view would be it is 'not safe'. The last time I visited Bangladesh was in 2001, rather than being an exotic summer holiday, I would define it as a nightmare. Being a British Born Bangladeshi, I still have not returned there since my last visit. I do not intend on visiting unless I have to." - Noohad Khan
"I have never been to Bangladesh and was thinking of going but after what happened to Brother Rizwan I don't think I want to go anymore." - Anon
"Hi all and salaams to all Muslims, greeting to other faiths, I agree with everyone above but would like to add, why are Bengalis always suffering and people don't take notice? Why is our life’s less important than our white counterpart? Why are British High Commission not taking this matter higher like they have done with other cases, and why are the British mainstream media not taking this matter upon mainstream news? I don't have all the answers could some one tell me why?" - Anwar Meah
"There should not be any worry to travel to Bangladesh. We have been doing it since 1985. My children (age 12-20) visited Bangladesh last summer on their own. All you have to do is not to break any law and have all your relevant papers (passport, tickets, bookings) up to date. If you can avoid any kind of arguments with any staff inside the airport (cleaners to staff in check-in desk to immigration), your journey will be as smooth as possible." - Prof Iqbal Mujtaba
"I am a 54 years-old Bangladeshi Canadian. The incident on Rizwan Hussain is horrifying. I used to go on holiday to Bangladesh every alternate year but now I am having second thoughts. My family members are scared to visit my home country. Bangladesh is my birth place and a beautiful place. This type of incident should not deter anyone from visiting the country. But how long we will be tortured by people working at Dhaka International Airport?" - A G Syed
last updated: 30/05/2008 at 11:35