HRW Demands Probe into Bangladesh Abductions

Posted April 27th, 2012 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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A global human rights groups says the Bangladeshi government should immediately order “an independent and impartial investigation”into what it calls the “growing number of cases” of opposition and political activists who have recently disappeared.

Human Rights Watch said Friday the most recent missing politicians and activists include — Elias Ali of the main opposition party and Aminul Islam, a labor rights activist. Ali disappeared on April 17, while Islam disappeared on April 4.

HRW said a Bangladesh-based rights groups has documented the disappearance of at least 22 people this year and another has tracked the disappearance of more than 50 people since 2010.

Asia director at HRW Brad Adams says the rise in disappearances requires “a credible and independent investigation.” He said the government has taken “no serious steps” to ensure such an investigation.

HRW says it has long documented abductions and killings by Bangladeshi security forces, especially the Rapid Action Battalion. The rights group said there has been a sharp increase in people disappearing after last being seen in the custody of Bangladeshi security agencies.

Adams said the government of Sheikh Hasina has made “repeated promises” to end abuses, but consistently dismisses or ignores evidence of abuses by the security forces. He said this is why an independent investigation into all cases of disappearances is “urgently required.”