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In 1994, a group of human rights activists initiated discussions and underscored the need to uphold the civil and political rights of the people of Bangladesh along with social, cultural and economic rights. Eventually, a decision was arrived at to form an organisation in order to advance such rights. In October 1994, Odhikar (a Bangla word that means ‘rights’) came into being with the aim to create a wider monitoring and awareness raising system on the abuse of civil and political rights.