Bangladesh urged to end extra-judicial killings

New York, Jan 28: The Bangladesh government should authorize an independent investigation into a spate of alleged extra-judicial killings by security forces, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The government should publicly order law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of all those taken into custody.

Joint Forces consisting of the Bangladesh Police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Border Guards Bangladesh continue to arrest opposition supporters, some of whom are accused of involvement in violent protests before and during the Jan 5 elections boycotted by opposition parties.

Security forces claim that the deaths after arrest occurred during “crossfire,” which Human Rights Watch has previously documented is used by security forces “as a common euphemism to describe what they claim to be shootouts but which in reality appears to be the killing of people already in detention”.

“We are seeing a frightening pattern of supposed ‘crossfire’ killings of opposition members in Bangladesh,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The Bangladesh government needs to ensure proper control of the security forces and order an independent and credible investigation into these deaths.”

IANS