Thursday, April 7, 2011

Extrajudicial Killings in Bangladesh

One person is falling victim to extrajudicial killing in every three days in the country. Thirty-three incidents of extrajudicial killing took place in the country in the past three months. During this period, various types of human rights violations also took place in the country. The incidents comprise killing of innocent people in gunfire, including Falani in the hands of India's Border Security Force (BSF), mass withdrawal of criminal cases on political consideration, political violence, arrest of innocent people on false charges, and missing people after being arrested under the pretext of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

Human Rights Situation

The aforementioned information has been revealed in the quarterly human rights report of the human rights watchdog-Odhikar. The report highlighted the human rights situation from 1 January to 31 March.

The Odhikar report said that 33 persons fell victims to extrajudicial from 1 January to 31 March. This means on an average three persons have fallen victims to extrajudicial killings in every three days. Of them, 28 were killed in the so-called encounter, the report states, the report states. Of the extrajudicial killings, 19 killed by the RAB, 6 in the hands of police and three in joint drives by the police and RAB, the report adds.

The report states that of the victims, 4 died in alleged torture. Of them, three killed by the police and 1 in the hands of prison authorities. One of the victims was killed in beating by the police. Identity of killed: One of the 33 killed belongs to the ruling Awami League, two are members of Purba Banglar Communist Party (Red Flag), one Purba Bangla Communist Party (Janajuddha), four members of Ganabahini, two youths, one is 52-year-old man, and the other a first year student of Northern College in Dhaka, one labor, one detainee and 18 are the so-called criminals. Custodial Deaths According to the report, 38 people were killed in custody in three months from January to March. Of them, 25 were killed in prison custody. The report says that 21 of them died of sickness. Of the victims, a one-and-a-half years infant was kept in the prison with the mother. It has been alleged that the infant died within 12 days after coming to the prison for lack of care. The exact reasons behind the deaths of three persons in prisons could not be known.

According to the report, of the 12 victims of extrajudicial killings, three were killed by the RAB, five in police custody, and one in prison. During this period, a former BDR soldier was killed in custody.

In addition, many incidents of human rights violation against Bangladeshis by India's BSF on the border took place from the January to March, according to the report. There are allegations that the BSF killed five Bangladeshis at that time. Of the victims, the BSF killed three persons in gunfire and three by torture. of the report adds that 30 Bangladeshis suffered torture at the hands of the BSF during the same period. They also abducted three Bangladeshis.

Future Consideration

Withdrawal cases under political consideration: The Odhikar report said that the government during the same period withdrew many criminal cases against murder, rape, robbery, corruption, extortion, and possession of illegal firearms by identifying those as "politically motivate cases." All cases already withdrawn under political consideration or kept for future consideration were pending against leaders and workers of the ruling party.

Withdrawal of Cases

Those cases were also withdrawn whose plaintiffs and defendants are not involved in politics. On 11 January at the out set of this year, the national committee on withdrawal of cases at its 25th meeting placed 1,479 lawsuits for lifting charges by identifying those as "politically motivated cases." The districts committees have no recommendations for 900 cases. According to the existing government rules, there is no provision for withdrawing lawsuits excepting recommendations of the district committees.

The proposals for withdrawal of the cases were placed before the committee under pressure from influential leaders of the ruling party, ministers, state ministers and MPs, but without recommendations from the district committees. The report adds that 1,479 cases, 56 recommended for withdrawal and 837 were kept for future consideration.

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