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Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:39:08 PM
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Disappearances are challenge to govt and govt must have an answer

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12th-Nov-2017       
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 At least 10 people, including a journalist, a university teacher, a publisher and several political leaders, have gone missing since August 22. Additionally, according to the Rights body Ain o Salish Kendra, 334 of the 524 people - who allegedly became victims of enforced disappearance between 2010 and October 2017 across the country - are still missing. This is the portrayal of a country where the citizens' safety and security is seriously at stake.  We reaffirm our abhorrence of the phenomenon. And regrettably, innocent people continue to be victims of enforced disappearances. Concerned law enforcement authorities have no idea regarding the whereabouts of most of them. There may be multiple reasons for people to go missing but the latest public perception that law enforcers are involved in a great many of these cases, is overwhelming. In fact, the involvement of law enforcers clearly indicates how the situation has worsened and how the protectors of the public have themselves turned into predators.

 If the government agencies are not involved in it, as the administration would have us believe, then there must be clandestine groups moving around with impunity picking people off the streets and from homes. That is an equally apprehensive situation. Thus the government, instead of dismissing the allegations against the agencies out of hand, must set up a special inquiry body to get to the core of the matter and put an end to this, once and for all. The state owes at least that much to the relatives of those who have disappeared.

We expect the ruling party to gauge the gravity of this ominous occurrence. And that's not all -- Bangladesh is a State Party to the ICCPR, the Rome Statute of the ICC and a number of other treaties for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, it has thus far, taken little action regarding the UN Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and senior members of the Government should think deeply about the peoples' right to safety of life. The country is continuing to fail to ensure safety and security to its citizens. We are worried.


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