DOES EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLNGS DIMINISH PUBLIC FAITH ON JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF BANGLADESH? DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT?
Extrajudicial killing are mostly common in the Middle East mostly in Palestinian territories Israel and Iraq, Central America, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, several nations or regions in Equatorial Africa, Jamaica, Kosovo, many parts of South America, Russia, Uzbekistan, parts of Thailand and in the Philippines.
The definition of EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING means execution without justice.
In BANGLADESHI context we can say that EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING MEANS how people are being killed in the name of ‘Crossfire’ ‘Shootout’ and ‘Gunfight’. In recent years, extrajudicial killing is like a tactic in the ongoing campaign against terrorism, which has generated considerable controversy. 1
However, I strongly agree that EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS diminish public faith on judicial system of BANGLADESH. Even if extrajudicial killings are lawful from a technical perspective; however, the question remains whether a democratic country like BANGLADESH should choose to pursue such a policy in its campaign against terrorism.2 The major concerns are that this type of killing often results in the death of innocent civilians.
1. See, in Steven R. David, Fatal Choices: Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing, Mideast Security and Policy Studies No.
5 (Ramat Gan, Israel: The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, September 2002).
2.See, in Peter M. Cullen, section (4) moral consideration , “The Role of Targeted Killing in the Campaign Against
Bangladesh is always committed to protecting and promoting human rights. At one hand at recent investigation conducted by the Ministry of Home Affairs of BANGLADESH, such evidence has been found, which supports the allegations of extra-judicial killings against the RAPID ACTION BATTALION. But on the other hand, Bangladesh has signed many international treaties to protect the human rights. Despite Prime Ministers assurance to stop extra judicial killing both governmental and nongovernmental sources have said that the death toll has reached 269 by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police during the present Awami League government .3 But there is no reaction about this whole thing.
2. EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING DIMINISH PUBLIC FAITH ON JUDICIAL
EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any legal process. Although it is true that through extra judicial killings a huge number of criminals and terrorists, which is a big threat for our country, are being killed. But every day we see more killings of citizens by the state machinery like Police and Rab and most importantly among them lot of people are innocent civilians. If it does continue then people will loose their faith from judicial system of BANGLADESH.
3. SEE, IN EURO BANGLA, “Hasina government instigating extra judicial killings!”
Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
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. This is a major human rights violation.
A Bangladeshi paramilitary unit that receives training from British police has resumed killing people in so-called “crossfire” incidents that human rights groups say are extra-judicial killings.4Mostly RAB (rapid action battalion) is responsible for EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING in BANGLADESH. But RAB can’t do this without the support of government. They don’t have that much power. So we can say that the government himself wants to continue extra judicial killings.
Dr Stefan Frowein, Head of Delegation of the European Commission said:
“It falls to the judiciary and the new National Human Rights Commission to ensure that human rights are fully enforced, not least with respect to allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings by security forces.”5
4.According to ‘The Guardian’, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) – condemned by human rights group as a “death squad” – ceased the killings briefly after the existence of the British training program was disclosed in US diplomatic cables posted on the internet by WikiLeaks last month. source: Indian express: “Bangladesh ‘death squad’ resumes extra-judicial killing”. Posted on: Thu Jan 27 2011, 13:25 hrs
5. The existing legal framework, as enshrined in the Constitution, does not allow encounter killing. Such a concept cannot co-exist with constitutionalism, rule of law and the principles of democracy. SOURCE: EU Human Rights Roadshow.POSTED:12th February 2009. Sylhet, Bangladesh.
The foreign minister of BANGLADESH Dipu Moni recently told “extrajudicial killing was almost part of the system and could not be changed overnight.” 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. 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. They continue to engage in extrajudicial killings. So as a result people started loosing their faith on judicial system of BANGLADESH.
According to Article 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” But, in reality, Bangladesh does not ensure the right to life and has not complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitution of Bangladesh. It’s alarming for human rights, democracy and the right to life.
In Bangladesh, we have a so-called democracy, but there is no rule of law. There is a famous saying By: Kyei-Afrifa Mannhei
“If we practice injustice, it will train some people to act as criminals.”6
According to the human rights organizations reports on extra judicial killings, 396 people have been killed in 2005, 355 people have been killed in 2005, 184 people have been killed in 2007, 149 people have been killed in 2008, 229 people have been
6. SEE, in Akash A. Jahangir, “Extra judicial killings by Bangladesh”
Political Blog | Tue, 02 Mar 2010
killed in 2009, 133 people have been killed in 2010 and at least 15 people have been
killed in this year in extra judicially by the law enforcers. Though, according to a secret source, over 8,000 people have been killed only by RAB in extra judicially (in the name of so-called crossfire, encounter, and gunfight) and by secret murders, disappeared since 2004.
The government of Bangladesh itself has been violating the constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day after day since 2002. 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.” But in reality the situation is different.
A recent newspaper report, had alleged that, two men, Lutfor Rahman and his younger brother Khairul Haque, were arrested by the RAB on November 13, 2009 and later, after they had been taken into custody, killed in a ‘shootout’ with RAB in Shirkhara village under Sadar Upazila, in Madaripur District on November 16, 2009. Lutfor’s wife Jharna Begum and son Bablu Khalasi, following the arrest, spoke at a press conference, where they claimed that the 2 arrestees had not been handed over to the police and the authorities did not give them any information about their whereabouts. They had apprehended that the arrestees may be taken to Madaripur on the false plea of recovering illegal arms and made victims of encounter killing and chillingly their fears were materialized in the following few days.7
7.see, khan H.Arafat, “Stop Extra Judicial Killings: Respect and establish an effective judiciary” in THE DAILY STAR ON 17 MAY 2010
Now days there is a common belief and knowledge of the citizens and the families of the victims that “crossfire” is an attempt to the unlawful actions conducted by the men in the Uniform. And more disappointing point is that the security force plus the government never accept their crime. That is why the people who are the family members of the victims as well as the normal public lose faith and hope of getting justice. And soon they lose their faith from judicial system of BANGLADESH.
The government of Bangladesh has sided with the extrajudicial killing. Recently in New York on Sept. 27, 2009 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. Sheikh Hasina talked with 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.”
One of the major concerns of the country today seems to be violation of the fundamental rights of its citizens.8 At first we need to understand the concept of democracy.9 In modern times, the main features of democracy are right to life, liberty, conscience, right to freedom of movement and speech, freedom from torture and inhuman treatment are agreed to be the pre-requisite for overall development of
8. see, in article 32, Bangladesh Constitution. “Protection of right to life and personal liberty”.
9. Democracy is a system of government under which the people exercise the governing power either directly or through representatives periodically elected by them. The principle of rule of law is the basic substance of democracy and it includes supremacy of constitution, equality before the law and civil liberties.
10. See, In Source: ALAIWAH. Posted: JANUARY 18,2010.’’Bangladesh: When Will Extrajudicial Killings Stop?”
a human including physical, mental, intellectual, cultural and spiritual development. But in our country the situation is totally different.
The social and economic progress of many democratic countries has been achieved through successfully applying their rule of law. But in our country we don’t see our security forces to accept and apply the rule of law. Instead of showing respect to the law the state machinery like police and rab has shown disrespect by practicing the extra judicial killing.
Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Bangladesh Dr Mizanur Rahman has said all extrajudicial killings should be investigated to bring the wrongdoers to justice. But instead of all that EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS still occur frequently in BANGLADESH.
Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO, has described RAB as a Bangladeshi government death squad, pointing out that senior political figures have expressed support publicly and privately for its policy of extra-judicial killings. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also said, in an indirect way, that extrajudicial killings will continue. This is an alarming situation for our country.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch said:
“Bangladesh has a long way to go to live up to its commitments, in both national policies and meeting international obligations. It is only when its people can live free of fear of torture, repression, curbs on free speech, or politically motivated actions that it can truly lay its claim to being a democratic country.”11
11. See, in World Report 2011: Bangladesh: Torture and Extra-Judicial Killings.p-694.
Among lots of negative side one positive side is the BANGLADESHI MEDIA. The media’s role regarding extrajudicial killings covered up under reports of “crossfire”, “gunfights” or “encounters” is in against of extra judicial killing. The report published in Bangladeshi newspapers and aired in television channel describes how people are being killed in the name of ‘Crossfire’ ‘Shootout’ and ‘Gunfight’. How an elite force name Rapid Action Battalion is involved in Extra Judicial Killing in Bangladesh. They discussed how huge number of people is being killed through extra judicial killing including innocent people.
Now days many human rights organizations have been asking the government to stop the killings, terming them “extrajudicial”. Human Rights Organizations has raised many important points. They said that excessive use of force should not be tolerated since it is a violation of fundamental human rights.
EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING is both a violation of the fundamental right and denial of the fundamental right to life. Criminal activities should not be accepted by any one, not even with security forces. It is true that some of those who are being killed by RAB were involved in criminal activities at some point of their life. If the case is that then they would be liable to punishment according to the law but not by the way of killing in the name of crossfire, shootout and gunfight. We can not accept such killing without any legal justification by the state’s law enforcing agencies.
Each case of extra judicial killing causes a fresh dent to democracy and the rule of law. The government should not just keep turning a blind eye to all these killings because they can’t fool anyone with their excuses. Sincerity will only come if the government follows the National Human Rights. The role of security forces like POLICE and RAB in the society is to control behavior within the limits of the law and not to threaten the community. Refresher courses on human rights issues must be introduced to the security force, so that the force can stick to them while executing their duties. Bangladesh should immediately end systematic human rights abuses, including stopping extrajudicial killings and torture by its security forces.
Submitted by: Samantha Ahmed
LAW: 200, SEC: 2
2. www.eurobangla.com (stop extra judicial killings)
5. Peter M. Cullen, joint force quaterly, Issue 48, 1st Quarter 2008. “The Role of Targeted Killing in the Campaign against Terror”.
6. Khan, H. Arafat, (2010), Stop Extra Judicial Killings: Respect and establish an effective judiciary.
7. Alaiwah, (2010), Bangladesh: When Will Extrajudicial Killings Stop?
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