Thursday, March 18, 2010

Extrajudicial Killings Are a Blot on Bangladesh

The government terms it "crossfire killing" or "encounter killing," but opponents and human rights activists call it "extrajudicial killing." Whatever the name, the bottom line is: some Bangladeshis are getting killed in the hands of law-enforcing agency personnel without facing formal charges and judicial procedures. This process and this act is wrong and unlawful from any vantage point. This on-the-spot justice is against any law -- whether it is internal law of Bangladesh or international law and practices. This is gross violation of human rights.

March is the month when Bangladesh observes it annual Independence Day (March 26). This is the month that specially reminds us of all the injustices , atrocities, extrajudicial arrests and executions occurred in the then East Pakistan (which later became independent Bangladesh) under the auspices of the ruling elite of Pakistan between 1947 and 1971.

The country became independent to have all the rights restored to its people, but things did not turn out exactly as they should have been. The newly-independent Bangladesh took the easy way out to deal with some members of the opposition, criminal elements, and internal terrorists by resorting to extrajudicial killings. Under last several governments it has become a norm.

If the law-enforcement agencies are allowed to resort to such type of killing -- which is lawlessness -- how can others be expected to follow the law? Lawlessness breeds more lawlessness, injustice gives rise to further injustice. There's every likelihood of vendetta in these actions. Many times, innocent people may become victims to such actions.

Extrajudicial killings happen under a dictatorship, but Bangladesh is not a country of dictatorship. Yet, in reality, generations of law-enforcement agency people, politicians and young people are growing up knowing that extrajudicial measures can be taken when faced with bitter opposition and law-and-order situation. They will be the ones who will always try to take the easy way out in solving problems without resorting to national and international laws and practices. This practice can never bring peace and stability in a country.

We sincerely hope that in the 39th year of its independence, Bangladesh will reflect on its past policies and actions and give prominence to its citizens' human rights at the cost of difficulties. Respect for each person and each person's rights is the basis of freedom and independence. We hope that the govenment of Bangladesh will erase this blot from the face of of this beautiful country.

Extrajudicial Killings: Some Facts, Analyses and Opinions

To have an idea of the situation, following blogs and websites may be visited:

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