14 June 2011

Protesting Extra-Judicial Killings by RAB in Bangladesh

We are distressed by the extra-judicial killing of criminals, suspects and civilians by law enforcers in Bangladesh, especially by members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

Since the inception of the RAB in March 2004, according to Bangladeshi human rights activists, more than 1000 unarmed civilians have been killed by the 'death squads' of the RAB.

If the government has lost confidence in the judiciary and non-paramilitary police forces, then it needs to reform those organizations. The proper mechanism for law enforcement is through the offices of the Inspector General of Police and the Public Prosecutors, not a group of motivated killers.

The existence of RAB as a killing machine without any accountability tarnishes Bangladesh’s image as a liberal, tolerant, and modern country.

Despite worldwide condemnation by human rights organizations such as The Amnesty International, many high officials, ministers and advisers of the Government of Bangladesh have been blatantly defending the RAB killings in the name of restoring 'law and order.'

We strongly condemn the actions of RAB. We recommend that all police and crack special forces be consolidated under the command of the Inspector General of Police.

No civilized country in the world can justify 'Extra-Judicial Killing' as part of its legal system. It is nothing but a travesty of justice and the rule of law.

In view of the above, we the undersigned, representing the Voice for Justice World Forum, demand that

·                         RAB be dismantled with immediate effect so that the government can focus on modernizing and strengthening the regular Bangladesh Police Force to oversee law and order in the country.           

·                         Combined Operation Indemnity Act 2003 (Joutha Avijan Daimukti Aeen 2003) be repealed immediately, to bring everyone under the common laws of the land, enabling people of all faiths and political persuasions to live in a free, secure and democratic society.

We trust that such will indeed be the case soon.

Dr. Hasanat M. Husain MBE, Convener, Voice for Justice World Forum, UK 
Dr. Hasan Z Rahim, Voice For Justice, San Jose, California, USA
Mr. Saleh Rahim Ahmed, Voice For Justice, Deptford, Essex, UK  
Dr. Taj Hashmi, Voice For Justice, Honolulu, USA
Mr. M. Shah Jahan, Voice For Justice, New Jersey, USA
Dr. Matin Ahmed, Voice For Justice, California, USA  
Mr. Hasan Mahmood, Voice For Justice, Toronto, Canada
Dr. Sajedur Rahman, Voice for Justice, Sydney, Australia
Mr. Sadiqur Rahman, Voice For Justice, London, UK 
Dr. Shamsul Islam Choudhury, Voice For Justice, Chicago, USA
Mr. Enam Choudhury, Voice for Justice, Stockholm, Sweden
Dr. Abdur Rahman, Voice for Justice, Limerick, Ireland 
VFJ Shamsul Alam Liton, Secretary Civil Rights Forum, UK
Dr. Chinmoy Banarjee, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy
VFJ Rahnuma Ahmed, Shonggoboddho Nagorik Shomaj 
Mr. Ezajur Rahman, Voice For Justice, Kuwait
Mr. Gulzar Ahmed, Voice For Justice, Vienna, Austria
Mr. Colin Short, Voice For Justice, London, UK
Ms. Michele Rowe, Voice for Justice, Melbourne, Australia
Mr. J. F. Oldenhuizing, Voice for Justice, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dr. Jasmine Tickle, Voice for Justice, Cambridge, UK
Barrister M.A. Muid Khan, Voice for Justice, Surrey, UK
Mrs. Jannat Ara Rasheed, Voice For Justice, Auckland, New Zealand
Syed Mahmud Husain, Voice For Justice, Singapore
Prof. Kazi Nurul Islam, Chairman, Department of World Religions and Culture, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dr. Husne Ara Huq,
Voice For Justice, East London, UK