Extra judicial killings by Bangladesh

By Jahangir Alam Akash
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By Jahangir Alam Akash

3/2/2010 12:08:18 AM -

By Jahangir Alam Akash, More two people were killed in extra judicially by RAB at Keranigonj of Dhaka. On 28th February, 2010 early in the morning it was happened. The killed are Pappu (27) and Abdus Sattar (26). Source: the Editor, 28-2-2010.

With this killing, 155 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Extra judicial killings were started by RAB during BNP-Jammat government in 2004.

Previous more information's on extra judicial killings. Please see and read it.

http://jaakash.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/killings-by-government-continuing-in-bangladesh/

Another person was killed in extra judicially in Bangladesh. Today on 24th February, 2010 it happened by police at Pangsha of Rajbari. (Source: the daily Star, internet edition, 24-2-2010). The killed was identified as Ramzan Ali. With this killing, 153 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government.

http://jaakash.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/is-rab-a-%e2%80%98god%e2%80%99-in-bangladesh/

The power of RAB is stronger than government. Is it true for Bangladesh? Or is RAB a 'God' in Bangladesh, whom couldn't touch by anyone? Or the government himself wants to continue extra judicial killings? Many questions are rounding in our minds. Because, High Court orders, national and international voice against extra judicial killings, Constitution, Universal Declaration of Human Rights nowhere allowed killings and torturing. Even torturing is prohibited of the religion. In spite of they are doing this inhuman work continuously.

Today on 23rd February, 2010 another person was killed by RAB-police in extra judicially. The killed is Saidul Islam in Kushtia. Before this killing on 15 February, 2010 another was killed by RAB at Kafrul in Dhaka. The killed was identified as Parvez. Osman Goni was killed by RAB-police on 30 January of this year at Dakshin Rangamatia village in Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong. After passing the order against extra judicial killings by high court how could law enforcers killing one after another in extra judicially?

With these killing, 152 people were killed extra judicially in Bangladesh under the present Awami League government. Extra judicial killing have been going on by the violating of highest court ruling ordered. Not only have that by this killing the Bangladesh government is violating the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Actually there is (Bangladesh) no right to life.

The term “extrajudicial killing” means execution without justice. This is a grave human rights violation. It's both a violation of Bangladesh's constitution and of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But these types of killings still occur frequently in Bangladesh.The State Minister for Home Affairs and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh openly support the extrajudicial killings, despite the fact that Bangladesh signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention Against Torture. Not only that, the constitution of Bangladesh also safeguards the right to life.

The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 2004. According to Article 35(5) of the constitution of Bangladesh and Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” And according to Article 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” But, in practice, Bangladesh does not ensure the right to life and has not complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitution of Bangladesh.

We can see that state institutions such as the judiciary, the rule of law, regulations, the constitution and the national assembly have been disabled. The media's role regarding extrajudicial killings covered up under reports of “crossfire”, “gunfights” or “encounters” is negative and constrained. The media has only been publishing the normal reports about these encounters filed by the RAB or the police themselves.

A few human rights organizations have long been asking the government to stop the killings, terming them “extrajudicial”. Moreover, the High Court of Bangladesh, on June 29, 2009, asked the government to explain why killing people without a trial, in the form of extrajudicial killings, is not being declared as illegal, and why measures are not being taken against the perpetrators. After this ruling, we still haven't seen anything happen.

Extrajudicial killings continue even in violation of the High Court's ruling. How can they continue? It's very alarming for human rights, democracy and the right to life. And why is the High Court silent regarding this gross human rights violation?

Both governmental and nongovernmental sources have said that the death toll has reached 152 from such extrajudicial killings – labeled as “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police – since January 6, 2009 (from January 6, 2009 to 23 February, 2010) when the Awami League-led government assumed office. In Bangladesh, we have a so-called democracy, but there is no rule of law. Every day sees more killings of citizens by the state machinery, killings which are both well-planned and covered up.

The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day after day since 2002 (including operation clean heart).

In 2004, the BNP-Jamaat government made a decision about extrajudicial killings and formed the RAB. From March 26, 2004 until January 31, 2009, around 1,600 people (including 58 killed peoples in operation clean heart of 2002) have been killed without justice.

The government of Bangladesh has sided with the extrajudicial killings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also said, in an indirect way, that extrajudicial killings will continue. She spoke clearly, upholding “crossfire” killings. What was said by our popular Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New York is very unfortunate for the rule of law, democracy, the constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the people of Bangladesh.

According to the Bdnews24.com, Sheikh Hasina talked with journalists in New York on Sept. 27, 2009. Referring to “crossfire” killings at the time, she said, “I do not believe in extrajudicial killings. But if anyone launches an armed attack (against a law enforcer), then they shouldn't be allowed to kill them like sitting ducks.”

Bangladesh's elite Rapid Action Battalion continues to engage in extrajudicial killings despite Supreme Court directives to halt it. Although the court is handling the issue of extrajudicial killings, RAB does not seem to be bothered either about the judiciary or the country's laws.

At least 16 people were killed in RAB-police's custody since the court issued a suo moto order on Nov. 17, last year asking the government for an explanation into such types of killings.

The High Court on Dec. 14, last year expressed grave concern over the recurring extrajudicial killings even as 11 people were killed in custody since the issuance of a suo moto order on Nov. 17, asking the government for an explanation on the matter.

During the court hearing, the Attorney General was asked to convey the court's concern to the director general of RAB. The High Court also asked the Attorney General to take initiatives so that no such killings took place till the next hearing scheduled for January 9. In addition, the HC also asked the state's top law officer for the names of RAB officials of Madaripur that were involved in detaining two brothers Lutfor and Khairul Khalasi who were killed on November 16.

But, after January 9, 2010 what happened by high court we couldn't know. We haven't seen any news in the media of Bangladesh on this matter. Our question is that, why the judiciary department and national human rights commission blind on this human rights violation issues?

When the present ruling Awami League party was in opposition, they often raised their voices against extrajudicial killings. Not only that, during the last general election, which brought them to power, they often said that extrajudicial killings should be stopped. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also told the international community that her government did not support extrajudicial killings. Indeed, the government's attitude, work and words on this issue of crossfire are unfortunately inappropriate.

The assertions of responsible people in the present government are shocking. Home minister Sahara Khatun recently said that, there was no crossfire. It seems, either directly or indirectly, the home minister and other minister's are defending the perpetrators of such “crossfire” killings. Finally we can say that, in Bangladesh has no rule of law.

We want to say that the reports of so-called “crossfire” killings, “encounter” killings or “gunfight” killings that are made by the RAB and the police are totally false. We believe that terrorism should never be combated or controlled through state killings. It is the establishment of the rule of law that is essential to control terrorism.Without the democratic practice, rule of law and good governance how could we say that Bangladesh is a civilized country?

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