Bangladesh’s government must end enforced disappearance by law enforcers, and ensure justice for related rights abuses, New York-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch said in a new report.
The report: “We Don’t Have Him: Secret Detentions and Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh” was released July 6.
It alleges that Bangladeshi law enforcement authorities have illegally detained hundreds of people since 2013, including scores of opposition activists, holding them in secret detention centers.
It documented 90 cases of enforced disappearances in 2016. While most of them were produced in court after weeks or months of secret detention, 21 were killed and the whereabouts of nine others still remain unknown.
In the first five months of this year, 48 cases of disappearances were reported, it said.
The government should immediately stop this widespread practice of enforced disappearances, order prompt, impartial, and independent investigations into these allegations, provide answers to families, and prosecute security forces responsible for such egregious rights violations, the report said.
“The disappearances are well documented and reported, yet the government persists in this abhorrent practice with no regard for the rule of law,” said Brad Adams, HRW Asia director.
“Bangladeshi security forces appear to have a free hand in detaining people, deciding on their guilt or innocence, and determining their punishment, including whether they have the right to be alive.”