Sunday, 13 May 2007

Custodial Deaths in Bangladesh

A Bangladesh rights group has recorded 89 custodial deaths and detention of over 175, 000 people during the four months of the state of emergency, proclaimed in January this year.

According to Odhiker, a coalition for the human rights organisations in Bangladesh, lawmen killed 89 people, 49 of whom were killed in shootouts by the elite Rapid Action Battalion, since the Fakhruddin Ahmed's interim government sworn in. The Odhiker released the report on Saturday. The group expressed deep concern over the violation of human rights in the country and demanded probe into all the extra-judicial killings by the law enforcers. It also asked the government to make public the findings of those inquiries.

In Bangladesh civil and political rights are suspended under the Emergency Powers Rule in line the with the January 11 presidential proclamation of the state of emergency. After assumption in office, the interim administration launched countrywide hunt against corruption, resulting in overcrowd in the jails across the country.

According to available statistics, the law enforcers arrested 175,435 people for their alleged involvement in the crime and corruption under the past political governments. A handful of the detainees were releases while the rest are languishing in jail.

Among the 89 people killed during the period, four were activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, four from the Awami League, six of the outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (Janajuddha), four of underground Purba Banglar Communist Party, three of extremist Purba Banglar Communist Party (Red Flag), two of outlawed Biplobi Communist Party, one of extremist New Biplobi Communist Party, two of underground Gana Mukti Fauj, one of Jatiya Samajantrik Dal, three of Sramajibi Mukti Andolan and four of extremist Sarbahara Party.

One of them was a freedom fighter, one was an indigenous leader and another was reportedly an operative of an extremist group, according to the Odhiker report. Odhikar demanded independent inquiries of all the extra-judicial killings or deaths in custody. It also demanded that the results of all such inquiries should be made public.

It also condemned brief detention of journalist Tasneem Khalil for questioning by the army-led joint forces and has termed it as 'act of intimidation' against human rights defenders.


1 comment:

Ehab said...

This isn't that uncommon is it ? Every now and then - a news like this is going to appear. We are going to read it - and sooner than later - forget it and keep it archieved.

Anyway .. we are trying to pull together a group of bangladeshi regular bloggers to write on a single independant platform. please check it out at my blog.