Environmental Law Practitioner In Dhaka

Custodial Death is a gross violation of Human Rights – Explain & Illustrate.


In every society there are certain rules based on which the society moves ahead. The people who try to violate or indeed violate the rules are blotched as criminal and they are given various types of punishment in accordance to the extent of their illicit works. Every criminal is sent to the prison or in any other place for punishment and proper authority is engaged in the duty to see whether the criminals are trying to escape from the prison. The authority must also ensure that the prisoners can practice all the human rights that they are supposed to get. In most of the cases the police get the duty to look after the prisoners. The police play a vital role in keeping the society safe and secured1. So they always should be active in arresting the criminals and in punishing them. But at the same time they should also have to ensure that no criminal will be punished in the prison by violating the law. It is often seen that the prisoners become the victim of the illegal actions of the police in the prison which sometimes cause for death for them. To complete the assignment two key points will be discussed here. These are: custodial death and human rights.


  1. It is the duty of all the people in a society to keep it safe. But as a representative of the government, the police have the responsibility more than any other people to look after the society and to stop crime. They have  the authority of the police to take care of the people of the society.

Custodial death:

When the criminals are kept in the prison, they become the prey of custodial violence. Custodial violence means torturing of police on the prisoners. Torture is sometimes necessary and is authorized by the government to control the jailbird people who become very offensive. Some prisoners are kept in the prison to provide valuable information to the police about their gang. This is called remand2. When any criminal is taken in remand, the police are told to find out the necessary information from the criminals by hook or by crook whish at the same time does not mean that the police is allowed to take the life of the criminals to get information. But in many countries, especially in the developed countries, the criminals are killed in the prison by the police which are called custodial death. It might happen that the criminal is not concurring to provide the desired information to the police. In that case the police might increase the level of torture but can never kill the criminal. There is no doubt that the police play a vital part in safe keeping the life of the general people and to do that they must have to take necessary action against any kind of unlawful activity. But at the same time they have to be responsible to the law as well. They must show respect to the human rights of all the people. The police should always remember that like all other people they are also under the law and not above it. They must be liable for any kind of breach of law. Any kind of brutal action in the prison by the police might cause the death of the prisoner and the police must be liable for that.  Many people might say that the criminals violate the laws and make the life of the general people like hell. So there is no need to show lawful behavior toward them in the custody. But this is not solution of the problem. The criminals should go through the legal procedure of the law and find what they deserve.


  1. In many cases the criminals are not likely to co operate the police in diminishing the crime from the society. Then the court orders the police to take the prisoner in the jail and torture him/her to find out the information necessary to find out other criminals.

Human rights:

Human rights are the rights which everyone in the society should enjoy as being a human being. Every person in this world has the right of the following:

ü      Right to get food

ü      Right to get clothes

ü      Right to get shelter

ü      Right to get education

ü      Right to get treatment

ü      Right to get proper judgment

All these rights are called human rights. This is a universal phenomenon and all civilized country ensures all the human rights of its people. According Wikipedia (2011), “the human rights movement emerged in the 1970s, especially from former socialists in eastern and Western Europe, with major contributions also from the United States and Latin America”. The human right ensures that all the people in this world should enjoy equal opportunities according to their qualifications and should be rewarded or punished in accordance with law. The society which does not ensure human rights for its people is considered to be an uncivilized society. There is no rule in an uncivilized society and it is full of chaos. Many people in the world do not know that there is any term called human rights and as human they have rights to enjoy. There are some countries in the world where human rights are violated severely. To let people know about their rights and to ensure the rights all around the world The United Nation has formed a council named The Human Rights Council. This council was formed on 15th March, 2006 which is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 States. This council is responsible for ensuring human rights all around the world. Every person in this world has the right to enjoy the human rights. Being a human being the criminals should also have the opportunity to enjoy all the human rights. They have the right to get the chance to come back to the normal life after the punishment is over.

The violence of human rights:

The criminals are caught by the police to make sure that no one will escape from the hand of the law who are engaged in any kind of unlawful activity. According to the declaration of the court the criminals are sent to the jail. The prisoners are kept in the prison for different time period depending on the severity of the crime. The policemen are engaged in the prison to watch if the criminals try to escape from the prison. Sometimes the police are allowed to torture on the prisoners in order to take out any valuable information. But it is seen that the criminals are losing their lives in the police custody which is very unfortunate. The criminals also preserve the human right and the right to enjoy the human rights3. They should get the chance to come back to normal life after the punishment period is over. Like all other civilized society Bangladesh is also against custodial death. According to bdnews24.com (June 1st, 2010), “The High Court has said it will no more tolerate deaths in custody and defiance of its orders to stop such murders.” But despite of this order custodial death has not stopped. There was news in the bdnews24.com published on 6th July, 2010 and the news was exactly this, “Three officers of Dar-us-Salam Police Station have been suspended following the death of an alleged drug peddler in police custody.” There is no doubt that when any person is engaged in any kind of criminal activity, he/she is no longer a human. But the people, who are engaged to protect the law, cannot break the rules and should never be engaged in any kind of unlawful activity. It is their utmost duty to behave with the prisoners according to the law. The police have the power to do anything with the prisoners under the circumstances of law. They should never torture the prisoners brutally. Like all other people the criminals should also get the chance to enjoy the human rights. The government of Bangladesh has announced that it will give compensation to the family whose relative will die in the police custody. But this is not any solution to this problem. ______________________________________________________________________________

  1. Despite of being a criminal, the person should get all the human rights that other normal people. The criminal should have the right to enjoy all the facilities like an ordinary person after the punishment period is over. They should never be killed in the custody of the police at any condition.

The following is the statistic of custodial death in Bangladesh in recent years:

Year Number of death
2010 At least 64 people
2009 At least 54 people by both police and RAB
2008 More than 100 people
2007 At least 130 people


From the statistics in the table above, it is very apparent that the number of custodial death is decreasing day by day. But no one should feel relaxed with that. The aim should be remove custodial death from the society.

What to do:

Custodial death is never expected in any enlightened society. To stop this unlawful activity some steps can be taken. These are as follows:

  1. The government should implement current laws regarding custodial death. There should be laws regarding custodial death. The only thing that needs to do is the government should apply those laws.

  1. Sometimes the existing laws might not be sufficient to stop custodial death. In that case the Government of country should formulate new rule and regulation to stop this unauthorized action.

  1. The police are the people who are engaged in protecting the law of any country. So if they violate the rule, then the general people might be encouraged to breach rules. For that reason the government should be very strict in giving punishment to the convicted police who will be responsible for the custodial death of criminals.


Everyone wants a crime free world to live in. There might have some people who will try to violate the law and engage in crime. For the sake of the peace of the society those people obviously need to be punished by the proper authority. But at the same time it has to be noticed that the human right should not be violated. No criminal should die in the custody of the people who are liable to protect the law. If the criminals die in the police custody then there will be a hap hazard situation in the society. Then people might take the law in their own hands. So everyone should be respectful to the law and to the human rights. To make a better world for the next generation, any kind of violation of law should be prohibited and stopping the custodial death is a small part of that step.


Ohchr. 20.02.2001 < http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/>

Wikipedia 20.02.2011 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights>


Bdnews24 20.02.2011 <http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=167033&cid=2>

Bdnews24 20.02.2011 <http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=163013&cid=2>

Amnesty 20.02.2011 <http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/bangladesh/report-2010>

Amnesty 20.02.2011 <http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/bangladesh/report-2009>

Amnesty 20.02.2011 <http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/bangladesh/report-2008>                      

Amnesty 20.02.2011 <http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/bangladesh/report-2007>


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