“Does Extra Judicial Killings diminish public faith on judicial system of Bangladesh? Do you agree with this statement? – Explain & Illustrate.”
- 1. Introduction
In this paper I wanted to figure out whether the public’s faith on judicial system is decreasing due to the extra judicial killings in Bangladesh, or not. To find the answer of this question I needed to clarify what is extra judicial killing and how it can have an effect on public’s faith on judicial system of Bangladesh. Then I researched on websites of newspaper and blogs, get the idea of extra judicial killings in Bangladesh, the reactions of government, human right organizations, and put my last few years experience of observations on public reaction on this issue. In this way, I found the answer of the topic question, that due to the extra judicial killings, public faith on judicial system is decreasing. I have illustrated it in my concluding part.
- 2. What is Extra Judicial Killing?
An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. Extrajudicial punishments are by their nature unlawful, since they bypass the due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur. Extrajudicial killings often target leading political, trade union, dissident, religious, and social figures and may be carried out by the state government or other state authorities like the armed forces and police.1
Extra judicial killings have always been protested by the organizations of human rights and media.
1. The Wikipedia talks about the definitions of Extra Judicial Killings, which page was modified on 13th February, 2011.
- 3. Extra Judicial Killings in Bangladesh
Extra judicial killing killings have been well known and a topic of argument since 2004. BNP government formed Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) to control the extremist activities that had been spread out in the whole country. RAB’s first popular successful mission was to arrest ‘Bangla Bhai’, a Jamiatul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB) leader and an extremist. From then, a term, “crossfire”, has been popular topic of argument and interest, as well as fear. According to various newspapers, it is estimated that over 1000 people have been killed by RAB in the name of crossfire.
It is people’s saying that, RAB arrests the criminals first, then tell them to run, and shoot them to kill. But this is only in gossip of the common people, the truth is always kept very confidential.
- 4. Reaction of human rights organizations
Human rights organizations have always been protested all types of extra judicial killings. One of the leading human rights organizations, Amnesty International, has been raised voice against extra judicial killings. From the blog, www.extrajudicialkilling.info, it was reported,” Amnesty International in a press release yesterday said Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) must stop extrajudicial killings. The press release also called on the British government to raise concerns before Sheikh Hasina about reports of torture, extrajudicial executions, and excessive use of force by RAB”2.
2. The blog, www.extrajudicialkilling.info, deals with the extra judicial killings, specially in Bangladesh. The report was published on January 28, 2011.
According to that report of Amnesty International, Over 600 people have been killed since RAB was formed in 2004.
In 23rd March, 2010, Amnesty International and Drik Gallery jointly organized an exhibition of Extra judicial killings in Bangladesh. Before that, they had to ask the government, to take the ban off from this kind of exhibition.
Recently, the Wikileaks claimed that RAB force is trained by UK government, which was also a issue of argument by Amnesty International.
- 5. Mixed reaction of present government
The present prime minister of Bangladesh, Shiekh Hasina, has opinioned against the extra judicial killings by RAB or any other armed forces. As her family was a victim of assassin by armed forces in 1975, she is always against to this issue. Althogh her officials asks her to be mum on this issue, she speaks against this topic strongly. 3
The Home minister, Sahara Khatun has denied that, any extra judicial killings has been took place during this government.
But the foreign minister, Dipu Moni, has supported the extrajudicial killings. According to her, “The government neither has any hand in it nor does it patronise the killings. If there is any allegation against any death, the governments takes steps and investigate it,”4
3. This news was published on www.bdnews24.com, on February 3rd, 2011
4. This news was published in www.bdnews24.com, on February 6th, 2011
- 6. Extra judicial killings and public reaction
Throughout this research, an interesting fact came out. Though extra judicial killings have been an issue of public talking, gossiping and argument, there is no secondary data available, that common public of Bangladesh has protested against the extra judicial killings. This point can make a hypothesis that, people in mind may support extra judicial killings. There may be various reasons , but most important reasons are: demand of a terror free society, gaps in law and judicial system, and fear to protest and criminals, terrorists and extremists.
Demand of a terror free society is a wanted situation to every common people. Common people like to live peacefully, without any fear, without any terror. But when fear like terrorism, extremism, and incident like bomb blust, killings, kidnapping and other crimes increases in society, common public remain under fear. They want a solution of these problem. In 2004, Bangladesh was a country full of extremist activities. The well known extremist groups are J.M.B., East Bangla communist groups etc. These groups are reported to killing, kidnapping, beating people, making terror in the society. So a strong solution was needed. When RAB was formed, it was well come by people. RAB began to kill and arrest those listed criminals, common public showed a positive reaction to these activities of RAB. Then the cross fire term was popular and criminals were less aggressive than the earlier time.
Gaps in law and judicial system is the second reason for which people do not protest against extra judicial killing. In Bangladesh, the legal procedure is very time cosuming. If there is any crime, the victim has to do a case against the criminals. It requires a lot of time as well as money. And the police of Bangladesh is not capable to fulfill the requirement of the present time. Moreover, they are mostly corrupted. There is no guarantee that a victim, who files a case against a criminal, will get justice. The judicial procedure is very lengthy, that is why public want a quick solution of problems like terrorism, extremism etc. going through legal process against these types of crime is almost a wastage of time at present time. So people prefer extra judicial killing in case of these time.
Fear to protest is the third important reason for which people prefer to call RAB, rather than file a case against the criminals. From its beginning, RAB has always promoted their contact numbers through various media and encourage people to call them if there is any criminal activities. Day by day people are increasing in number to call RAB for the solutions.
- 7. Conclusion
From the above discussion, we can come over a decision that people are now loosing faith on judicial system because of extra judicial killings in Bangladesh. Because, where is the question of terrorism or extremism, people direct call RAB, who are habituated of extra judicial killing, rather than file a case against them. Public are doing this because of the assurance of security, confidentiality is given by RAB, not the judicial system. We will not comment whether it is right or wrong, but this is moreover the present situation of Bangladesh.
For: The Lawyers & Jurists
M.L.Hotel Tower Ltd,208,Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Sarani,
Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000.
Country code+ Ph No.
Direct cell with country code:
Local Code :