Bangladesh fails to control security forces: US report

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Dhaka, April 14: The United States reported that Bangladesh authorities have failed to maintain effective control over security forces that allowed continued abuse of human rights and custodial deaths.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices at 2 p.m. EDT on April 13 in the Press Briefing Room at the U.S. Department of State.

“Security forces, including the RAB, continued to commit abuses with impunity,” observed the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances were described as one of the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh today.

The report pointed out that the government took limited measures to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and killing by security forces.

“Reluctance to bring charges against the police also perpetuated a climate of impunity,” the report said.

“Weak regard for the rule of law not only enabled individuals, including government officials, to commit human rights violations with impunity but also prevented citizens from claiming their rights.”

US secretary of state John Kerry released the report at US state department and maintained that the US is opposed to the “use of torture in any form at any time by any government or non-state actor”.

“A government that fails to respect human rights, no matter how lofty its pretentions, has very little to boast about, to teach, and very little indeed in the way of reaching its full potential,” he said.

Referring to human rights groups and media reports, the US report mentioned that multiple disappearances and kidnappings, some committed by security services, continued, especially in the period following the election anniversary violence.

“Suspicious deaths occurred during raids, arrests, and other law enforcement operations,” the report mentioned, dwelling on the government’s claims of these deaths as “crossfire killings,” “gunfights,” or “encounter killings”.

Other human rights problems included torture and other abuse by security forces, arbitrary arrests and detentions, weak judicial capacity and independence, and lengthy pretrial detentions, the US report said.

It also listed other incidents of rights violations such as killing of bloggers, restrictions on online speech and the press, early and forced marriage and gender-based violence, and poor working conditions and labour rights.

The report also mentioned that prison conditions remained harsh and at times life threatening due to overcrowding, inadequate facilities, and lack of proper sanitation.

“The government subjected the judiciary to political pressure and cases involving opposition leaders often proceeded in an irregular fashion,” added the report.

Click to see on full report–http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/04/255799.htm

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