The Bangladesh government has not yet stopped torture and extra-judicial killings and there is no end of systematic human rights abuses, said an international human rights watchdog yesterday.
“The Awami League government has not kept its promise after its election victory in December 2008 to show zero tolerance for abuses by its security forces,” observed New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its World Report 2011.
The government arrested five war crime suspects who are members of the opposition parties. But there are strong suspicions that the detentions are politically motivated, noted the report.
It also found the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act of 1973 well short of international standards.
The 649-page report, the organisation's 21st annual review of human rights practices, summarises major human rights trends in more than 90 nations and territories worldwide.
The HRW report also pointed at the abuses by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) as they killed many Bangladeshis for crossing the border.The Bangladesh government should be more vocal and determined in pressing the Indian government to restrain BSF and put an end to the killings, the report said.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) force carries out the extra-judicial killings, frequently termed “crossfire killings,” and after the fact, the government has justified each killing as legitimate, it added.
Bangladesh should immediately end systematic human rights abuses, including stopping extra-judicial executions and torture by its security forces and allow the media, political opponents and labour rights activists to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association fully, commented the report.
“The government should not just keep turning a blind eye to all these killings because they are not fooling anyone with their excuses,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of HRW.
The government regularly harassed, repressed, and retaliated against its political opponents and labour union activists during 2010.