After 7th Parliament elections in 2001, Bangladesh Nationalist Party gained a majority, largely on the basis of their law and order and national security policies within Bangladesh.
In 2003, the government established the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite `anti-crime` unit composed of armed personnel from several of the existing security branches. Since the RAB was set up, it has been continuously alleged that extrajudicial killings and instances of custodial torture have surge.
The government`s non-judgments towards human rights abuses are not a new phenomenon. Operation Clean Heart was an anti-crime operation that ran nationwide from October 2002 to January 2003.
It led to the death of just about sixty people, the injury of around three thousand persons, and the arrest of more than forty-five thousand. On the day that Operation Clean Heart officially ended, an ordinance was approved that prohibited law-suits or prosecutions for human rights violations during that period, giving the armed forces and police impunity from being prosecuted for their actions.
Despite having the most cherished and pivotal fundamental human rights guaranteed in our Constitution, it has been widely reported in Bangladesh that in the last few years there has been a pattern of extrajudicial killings going on in the name of “crossfire”, “gunfights” or “encounters”, even though we live in a democracy and our Constitution protects and ensures fundamental rights for every individual in our country.
Until recently a new term has been improvised, a new culture of enforced disappearances has developed, which is alarming and this adds to the disrespect for human rights and thus the long practice of impunity and a weak criminal justice system prevalent in Bangladesh.
We are deeply concerned that the present government has not done enough to effectively address the extrajudicial killings and the recent spate of killings and disappearances, and that this inaction has led to a culture of impunity in which even more killings and human rights violations can take place. Although the authorities in Bangladesh have announced an inquiry into a recent spate of killings and disappearances, no positive steps have been taken yet by the authorities to investigate the spate of recent disappearances.
Extra judicial killing is unethical, because every person have right to get proper judgment. Although extra judicial killing reduce crime but it is not acceptable. Many general people are killed for this type of killing.
Another name of extrajudicial killings is Crossfire. Killings by law enforcement agencies are common in Bangladesh. In 1972, the paramilitary group Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini came into force and had become renowned for its extrajudicial executions until it was engaged into the army in 1975.
In Bangladesh, the law says minimum force should be useful to arrests and every person has the right to seek a trial. In the cases of crossfire and encounters, however, we find that these legal requirements are being totally ignored.
Article 31 of the constitution of Bangladesh states: To enjoy the protection of law, and to be treated in accordance with law, is the absolute right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Bangladesh, and in particular no action unfavorable to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law.
The constitution Article 32 ensures the protection of the right to life and personal liberty in accordance with the law. Because of the consequences of such dispossession, the drafters of the constitution made this specific stipulation of safety even though these rights were already covered by Article 31.
What is inherent in Articles 31 and 32 is the right to access to justice, and it cannot be said that this right has been dealt with in accordance with the law unless a person has a reasonable opportunity to approach the court in proof of their right or grumble. Even a deserter is entitled to a legal defense when the death penalty is involved.
The government of Bangladesh has been violating the constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 2004. 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.
And according to Article 3 of the constitution of Bangladesh, Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. But, in practice, Bangladesh does not ensure the right to life and has not complied with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the constitution of Bangladesh.
From above discussion we see that constitution provide our fundamental right but above these reasons people can not get their fundamental rights. Many unethical killing is occurred for extra judicial killing. Many people are killed by RAB without any justice, although these people were not criminal.
Extra judicial killing is violation of fundamental right provided in constitution of Bangladesh. Because our constitution ensures our fundamental rights but extra judicial killing is against our fundamental right.
Bangladeshi people have 23 fundamental rights under the constitution. One of the most important rights is to get proper judgment.
Extra judicial killing is violated by our constitution. Our constitution does not support extra judicial killing. But in our country extra judicial killing is occurred continuously. Government must stop extra judicial killing as it reduces our international relation. For getting proper judgment we all of us should against this type of killing.
We have just celebrated our 42 years of independence and almost 22 years of democracy, still the State has not yet fulfilled its legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent extrajudicial killings and disappearances and use all means to carry out serious investigation of alleged cases.
It is now time for the governments concerned authorities to do something, to conduct independent investigations and to impose appropriate punishment and to ensure victims adequate compensation. In order to bring an end to extrajudicial killings and disappearances, the respect for the rule of law and effective and independent judiciary is necessary.
The writer is a publisher and editor of law related weekly newspaper ‘Shomoyer Digonto’ and is M.Phil researcher, lawyer in kushtia judge’s court, Kushtia, E-mail: [email protected]