Rights Group Urges Bangladesh to Stop Unlawful Killings

Posted August 24th, 2011 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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An international human rights group is urging Bangladesh to stop its authorities from committing extrajudicial killings and other abuses that allegedly have continued despite government pledges to stop them.

In a statement released Wednesday, Amnesty International said Bangladesh's government must act now and take what it called “concrete steps” to protect people from the alleged unlawful killings.

The London-based group's report singled out Bangladesh's elite Rapid Action Battalion, which stands accused of involvement in hundreds of killings and using torture against detainees.

Amnesty International's Bangladesh Researcher Abbas Faiz said that nearly every week, the RAB shoots someone with the authorities saying the individual was killed or injured in “crossfire” or a “gun-fight.” Faiz said that regardless of the characterization, these incidents are suspected unlawful killings.

Faiz also said the investigations into these incidents are not impartial and objective because they are handled either by the RAB or a government-appointed judicial body and never result in prosecution.

Amnesty International says the RAB has been implicated in the killing of at least 700 people since its inception in 2004. Two hundred of those cases allegedly occurred since 2009, despite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's pledge to end extrajudicial killings when her government came to power .

The group also calls on countries that supply arms and munitions to Bangladesh to stop or risk bearing some responsibility for any human rights abuses committed by security forces.