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Bangladesh: extrajudicial executions referred to as “crossfire killings”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) publicou onte unha nota de prensa sobre as torturas e as “execucións extraxudiciais” cometidas pola policía de Bangladesh, en especial pola “unidade de acción rápida”. As autoridades intentan frecuentemente oculta-la gravidade dos asasinatos dicindo que as mortes se produciron nun “fogo cruzado”.

A nota de prensa leva por título “Bangladesh: End Wave of Killings by Elite Forces. Donors Should Not Fund Rapid Action Battalion”. Copio un extracto do seu contido:

The military-backed interim government should take prompt action to end a wave of unlawful killings by Bangladesh’s elite crime-fighting force, HRW said today. Since June 1, 2008, officials from the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police have killed at least 50 individuals under suspect circumstances.

“Despite overwhelming evidence of RAB and police responsibility for unlawful killings, the interim Bangladeshi government seems unwilling to address the problem,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW. “Instead, Bangladesh’s security forces continue to get away with murder.”

After strong national and international criticism of the Rapid Action Battalion for its poor human rights record, RAB killings decreased in 2007 and early 2008. However, this trend has been abruptly broken in recent months and the number of killings has surged, HRW said. […]

Established in 2004, the RAB immediately became known for its involvement in what the authorities often refer to as “crossfire killings.” Over the past four years, RAB members have killed more than 540 people. Research by HRW and others has shown that many of these “crossfire killings” are in fact poorly disguised extrajudicial executions, often preceded by torture.

Tragically, the Bangladeshi police have copied the actions of the RAB, killing several hundred people over the past few years. Since a state of emergency was declared on January 11, 2007, the RAB and the police have often operated together. […]

While the RAB’s human rights record has been so poor that the United States and United Kingdom had refused to work with them officially as partners in counterterror operations, some international agencies and foreign governments have recently initiated or are now considering cooperation with the force. According to reports in Bangladesh’s Daily Star and New Age newspapers, a delegation of US officials from the departments of state, defense and justice visited Bangladesh in mid-July and met with the RAB to explore possibilities for future cooperation. Among other things, the RAB reportedly proposed that the US provide them with equipment and counterterrorism training.

HRW urged governments not to work with or provide support to the RAB until it ends its pattern and practice of human rights abuses and holds responsible officials accountable. For a foreign government to provide assistance to the RAB at this point in time would be to condone the RAB’s record of human rights abuses and would raise serious questions about the donor’s commitment to improving human rights in Bangladesh, HRW said.

As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and several other human rights treaties, Bangladesh is obliged to thoroughly and promptly investigate serious violations of human rights, prosecute the perpetrators, and in accordance with international fair trial standards punish them if their guilt is established. As far as HRW is aware, no RAB officers have ever been held criminally responsible for taking the life of another person or for torture.


12 Agosto 2008 - Posted by | Bangladesh, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Politics

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