Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bangladesh anti-crime unit kills with impunity, despite promise to curb extra-judicial killings

SALEEM SAMAD

BANGLADESH DESPITE broken promises to curb the elite anti-crime unit has ignored to hold the organization responsible for extra-judicial killings, torture, abduction, and other abuses.
New York based Human Rights Watch on Monday blamed the elite anti-crime unit for an estimated 600 extra-judicial killings since March 2004 it was formed and dubbed Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) as a death squad.

The 53-page report “Crossfire”: Continued Human Rights Abuses by Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion," documents abuses by RAB in and around the capital, under the current Awami League-led government. Nearly 200 people have been killed alone during RAB so-called anti-crime operations since January 6, 2009, when the government assumed office.

At a news conference in capital Dhaka, Brad Adam, Asia director at HRW advise the Bangladesh authority to make major steps towards RAB accountable and reform in the next six months or disbanded it.

He urged United States, Britain and Australia to immediately withdraw assistance and

cooperation unless dramatic improvements of RAB’s behavior and attitude. Responding the question of reporters, Adam argued that the victims of extra-judicial deaths none were terrorists.

Although the government has made numerous commitments to end the killings and to punish perpetrators, no RAB officer or official has ever been prosecuted for a "crossfire" killing or other human rights abuse. "Crossfire" is a blanket term used to justify most of the unit's killings.

RAB kills with impunity, even when the detained person is in custody, Adams concluded. [ENDS]

For full details of the HRW statement:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/05/10/bangladesh-broken-promises-government-halt-rab-killings